Toshoklabs Presents, Dated

Released: 1999

This album is deceptively called a collection. However, most of the songs were apparently created by three different people, making this more of a grouping of EPs than anything else. But whatever you call this album, you can't call it boring. Dated is colored white and red: white because there is a starkness to the music that links it with ambient minimalism; red because that starkness often breaks down, revealing a frentic interplay of 808s, 909s, 303s, and CGD sounds. Another way to look at this music is through its structure: each song has a definite building block structure, but each song also begins with sweeping synth strings, then builds up the 909s and 303 and mixes the CGD and other drum sounds into those strings, thereby creating the effect of mood music while still being hot enough to dance to. Perhaps the most interesting of the 11 songs on the record is "Synthesis" by Cardboardmen, which takesa 303 bass line and adds to it quasi-808 sounds, a 909 bass drum, more 303s, and the occasional synth. It builds and builds, then abruptly stops, returns to the single 303 line, and starts over again. Songs like this are oddly soothing and oddly envigorating. Since Toshoklabs has Real Audio clips from every track on the album online for your perusal, I encourage you to listen for yourself.

Toshoklabs Web Site

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