Sunday, September 23, 2007

Deep Chord

Rod Modell is a sound designer / electronic music producer from the Detroit area. Began producing music in the mid-80's using analog synthesizers and drum machines. To date (July 2007), Modell has about 60 releases to his credit. Rod's work was focused on elecrto-acoustic experimentation in the early years, making musique concrete compositions with a 4-track cassette machine and field recordings, then branching into industrial soundscape work. More recent recordings utilize more structure and beats, but still retain the atmospherics that Modell is known for. Mood is of paramount importance in a Rod Modell recording (often created with field recordings). Sadly, this element seems to be lost in much of the clicks+cuts DSP music of today. One of Modell's favorite pastimes is making middle-of-the-night recordings with his portable DAT machine and dummy-head microphone. In the mid-90's, Modell started Deepchord Records (w/ Mike Schommer) in Detroit, as an outlet for his music. Deepchord has experienced tremendous popularity (some say cult status) within the dub-techno world. Formed in the mid-90's, DC was one of the original perveyors of this sound. Hordes of immitators came in the following years after DC, but DC's status as one of the originators is firmly embedded in musical history. Somewhat similar to the mid-90's Berlin sound, but with warmer sensibilites... seeming to pull more elements from Chicago's house and Detroit's techno heritages, while avoiding Berlin's more metallic edge. Someone recently described Berlin's sound as Black and Grey, and DC's sound as Brown and Red.

After four sellout twelves and a barrage of critical acclaim - Deepchord's full length Echospace excursion "The Coldest Season" is at long last available on CD and Download - featuring material not featured on the EP's and different versions of familiar tracks - all expertly blended and mastered by Rod Modell for your enjoyment. Produced using nothing but vintage analog equipment : Roland Space Echo, Echoplex, Korg tape delay, vintage signal processors, noise generators, Sequential Circuits 8 bit samplers & numerous analog synthesizers - this project goes back to the heady days of Berlin-based proto dub/techno variations, recorded and produced in Detroit and Chicago. Three of the worlds most important Techno cities colliding to form a whole that perfectly bridges the gap between The Motor City's emotive arrangements, The Windy city's percussive robustness, and Berlin's life-altering Basic Channel continuum. Listened to in one sitting, "The Coldest Season" chooses a different arrangement and track selection to slowly build up momentum and space - taking in the muted steppers reduction of "Abraxas" and the icy soundscaping of "Ocean Of Emptiness" before reaching a crescendo of sorts with the radiant techno of "Elysian" and the majestic dub killer "Empyrean" - the most revered track on board bringing this 80 minute album to a perfect close. Where Echospace go from here only time will tell - but for the moment "The Coldest Season" is a perfect distillation of dub techno and BASS reductions for 2007 and beyond.

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