Quantec: Unusual Signals

Echocord, 2008

Unusual Signals cover

Quantec’s best work to date is a meticulously crafted album of Chain Reaction-style dub techno. On “Amanita Muscaria,” chords pan over a kick drum. Deep bass drops out at the beginning and end, allowing for easy mixing. “Deliberate” centers on warm pulses. I imagine time-lapse video of clouds forming and blowing by.

“Unusual Signals/Reversion” is where the tracks start running together for me. I like the bass progression, but the chords strike me as formulaic. On “Iboga,” synth sounds swirl over puttering percussion and substantial bass, forming a moody morass. “Yage” is another chord-centric track, with reverb filling the space between notes. “Panaleous” is dark and dense.

Unusual Signals is an enjoyable listen, but like many recent dub techno LPs, the individual tracks are indistinct. Taken as a whole experience, this album works, but I’m unlikely to seek out a specific cut for later listening. In the age of shuffling iPods, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

4/5 stars

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3 Comments

This album took me on note one. Listening to a wealth of dub,
techno, dub-step the likes of Deepchord, Murmur, Rod Modell, Burial, Vladislav Delay, Basic Channel and Chain reaction reissues. I've heard the lot and I like what I hear. These artist remain out of the mainstream, contribute fresh ideas, burst the boundaries, and stay true to their own inner beatscapes.

Like a surprise but welcome slap in the face, why has Quantec stayed a mystery to me? To discover them(him) through the Unusual Signals work is akin to being on the receiving end of the first trans-Atlantic coded message some 100 years henceforth. More music like this and I'd welcome a righteous and thorough ass whipping. Just don't kick me in my ears.

Nice...very very nice,

Boy, I wish I could feel the love. Definitely feel the references to Biosphere, Yagya and Rod Modell without feeling that I'm getting anything to really grab onto. It's vaguely pleasant background without being actively able to say that I'm enjoying it...

And of course those 30 sec or 1 min preview segments that you might hear really don't tell the whole story.