Review ·

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 bird�s eye view of what Spectral has to offer, and when �minimal� doesn�t translate to �goddamned snooze-fest,� 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 �It�s Over Now (Peter Grummich�s Remix),� Matthew Dear�s vocals again never seem to outdo the standout backdrops over which they�re placed, and the finished product suffers. This happened on 2004�s Backstroke too, but �Raw Dog,� a previously unreleased track by Dear that�s credited here to his Audion moniker, is quite the opposite: brisk surging techno, minimalist but not a �goddamned snooze-fest.� Opener Osborne contributes to the rather dry side (read: snoozy) of Spectral�s sound, but several artists, including Audion, Geoff White and Hieroglyphic Being, push this sampler onto the �I should listen to this more often� shelf.

The second disc, mixed by Dear�s deejay partner Ryan Elliott, opens most appropriately with the hailstorm of manipulated vocal samples and noise that give way to �Another,� one of the strongest tracks on Dear�s 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.

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"Raw Dog" mp3

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