Review of Frame [12k1011]

Revolution (US)

If Frank Lloyd wright had lived to design a record label, Taylor Deupree’s 12k imprint would be it, and Shuttle358’s Frame would be the Guggenheim. Like the famous art deco architect, deupree believes in art (and, obviously, music) composed of clearn lines and precise execution, an element captured most beautifully in this second experimental electronic album by Shuttle358’s Dan Abrams.

Unlike the minimal techno of Thomas Brinkmann or John Tejada, which stives to peel away the commercialism of dance music by retreating to structured and purified beat patterns, Shuttle358 dives deep into the inner mind of dance music itself. As such, Frame uncovers the hidden archetypes of dance music – be it techno, trance, drum ‘n’ bass or downtempo – and shows them in their most sublime state. The accented percussion pattern on the title track, “Frame,” bears a resemblance to Underworld and even Meat Beat Manifesto, but where those artists choose brash drums and wide-bottom basslines, Abrams uses soft pops and gentle clicks that soothe the dancing impulse inside instead of disturbing it. Even in its more agitated states, such as the frenetic static shocks on “Sequence” or the undulating melody of “Hasp22,” Frame foregrounds an element of ambient quietude one level removed from normal dance music. It’s this clean dreaminess that makes both Shuttle358 and 12k important to america’s rapidly evolving experimental scene. – heath k. hignight

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