Title: Blank Value, Fab 4000
Genre: Progressive House and Techno
Cat No: FLR001
Hailing from that hotbed of musical talent Amsterdam, Applescal treats us to a brand new 4-tracker which incorporates 2 original works and 2 remixes. The originals are as yet unreleased, but easily possess enough depth and quality to ensure that this probably won’t be the case for very long. By the sounds of it, he’s a man who prefers the hardware approach to producing, and the warmth of the tracks in this showcase is testament to Applescal’s dexterity with his equipment.
Kicking things off with his track ‘Blank Canvas’, we begin proceedings with ethereal synth melodies that pave the way for the chunky kick drum, as it introduces itself like a steamroller. I found that the track eventually blossomed into quite a different beast to the quirky proposition that was put forward in the opening salvo. As the record develops, it becomes more of a brooding Progressive effort with dreamy atmospheric riffs backing up the synthesiser chords. It’s quite a wonderful track to sit back and absorb, and clearly draws inspiration from the likes of Fairmont and John Talabot.
Following that impressive entrance, Applescal presents ‘Fab 4000’, a darker more driving affair that still retains many of the elements that made the last track such an accomplished and well polished workout. In his notes he claims to navigate both Techno and IDM territories, and this is never more apparent than here. DJs of both genres will find a great deal to appreciate, and the track should fit beautifully whatever the occasion. As the track builds to a climax, you would be forgiven for thinking you were listening to a new Nathan Fake or Luke Abbott release, and praise doesn’t really come much greater than that.
The remixes he has included are of equal class as well, particularly the remix of Gidge’s ‘For Seoul’. The intricate melodies and otherworldly keys running through it are at once comforting and entrancing, and the finished article sounds impeccably well put together. If you’re looking for a bit of a head-turner to build a set with, you could do far worse than to give his remix of Norwell’s ‘Expose’ a bit of your time. He claims to be receiving support from Nick Warren and Hernan Cattaneo amongst others, and it’s not hard to understand why. His brand of shoe-gazing electronica is welcome relief from the barrage of hastily built Deep House and pretentious Techno, and offers an alternative that is ambitious yet honest. A superb selection of real music, and I look forward to hearing more from this man in the very near future.