MalLabel 2022

Space Opera

Bay Area’s underground company let their roster rise, shine and embark on an interstellar overdrive.

This compilation’s title is as misleading as it is to the point: even though there’s no operatic grandiosity in terms of sci-fi approach, the six artists represented by MalLabel – dubbed Bass Warriors and rendered as heroes of a vague-concept cosmic saga – demonstrate enough daredevil adventurousness for their tracks to seem arresting. What they offer here must be of interest not only to electronica aficionados but also to prog rock followers who can if not scrutinize then imagine an alternative development of a beloved genre that’s able to exist without guitar riffs and thunderous drumming.

Of course, beats are in abundance on Illexxandra’s “Evil Aria” where crumbling vibes and theremin waves, redolent of tormented soprano, bring glitchy delights to the fore, while Cam Lasky’s “Centurion” flogs percussive stallion with gloomy rustle to set a galloping pace to its frenetic bottom-end spank and heavy clang, until Beat Kitty’s “Make A Wish” finds Annie Dolly rap to wondrous, lysergic-scented sonic swirls and breaks the dark spell. As a result, Bukkha’s “Space Coast Boogie” is alluringly retrofuturistic, heaping unhurried parps upon tectonic plates and feeding analog synth to the groove, thus contrasting the slow swagger of Goldish’s “Andromeda” that has a haunting melody to boot, and the stumbling trip-hop of El Diablo’s “The Dragon” on which Nim-1’s booming rhymes rage for a reason.

Here’s a journey not for the narrow-minded, but those whose fantasy flies like an arrow will find their minds abducted.


March 14, 2022

Category(s): Reviews

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