The thirteen tracks on the first disc of the two-disc Spectral Sound Vol. 1 should be pretty helpful for the person looking to get to know the minimal dance-floor sector of the Ghostly International label. The collection offers a conservative birdï¿½s eye view of what Spectral has to offer, and when ï¿½minimalï¿½ doesnï¿½t translate to ï¿½goddamned snooze-fest,ï¿½ the selections are sharp and interesting.
The first disc is the unmixed collection of tracks, some previously unreleased and some that will be recognizable to Spectral enthusiasts. On ï¿½Itï¿½s Over Now (Peter Grummichï¿½s Remix),ï¿½ Matthew Dearï¿½s vocals again never seem to outdo the standout backdrops over which theyï¿½re placed, and the finished product suffers. This happened on 2004ï¿½s Backstroke too, but ï¿½Raw Dog,ï¿½ a previously unreleased track by Dear thatï¿½s credited here to his Audion moniker, is quite the opposite: brisk surging techno, minimalist but not a ï¿½goddamned snooze-fest.ï¿½ Opener Osborne contributes to the rather dry side (read: snoozy) of Spectralï¿½s sound, but several artists, including Audion, Geoff White and Hieroglyphic Being, push this sampler onto the ï¿½I should listen to this more oftenï¿½ shelf.
The second disc, mixed by Dearï¿½s deejay partner Ryan Elliott, opens most appropriately with the hailstorm of manipulated vocal samples and noise that give way to ï¿½Another,ï¿½ one of the strongest tracks on Dearï¿½s Backstroke. From there Elliott blows through a lengthy set of both Ghostly and Spectral sides, emphasizing the theatrics of the dance-floor-but-dizzying-nonetheless moments from both catalogues. He makes room for Solvent, Peter Grummich, lots of Dear and a wonderfully ambient closer from James Cotton. No goddamned snooze-fests in sight.