Solvent, Solvent

Released: June 1998

Solvent's self-titled debut is pure orange: a mix of red and yellow, frentic and happy sounds that demonstrate, more than anything else, that the genre known as "drum 'n bass" is bursting with life, provided people who pay attention to these things look in the right places. In this case, Canada. The songs on this album are crisp, cheery buliding songs that are centered around either wide-flowing synths or tight found and CGD beats, with a smattering of traditional and 303 bass lines jumping in and around everything else. What makes the music interesting, I think, is Solvent's willingness to take chances, to push the boundaries of beats and melodies to interesting extremes. I personally like the first track, "Pienapple Boy," which has all of these features and more, and is simply happy music, considering how frentic and swirly the music is. But all the tracks share this odd combination. "Elbow Glue," for instance, mixes organ synth sounds with FX vocal and a lot of echo, giving the whole thing a weird, Alien-meets-epic-movie-soundtrack feel. The album is a real treat: bursting with creativity, willing to use any and all sounds to create a beat, and not afraid to have a little fun.

Suction Records Web Site

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