Markant: Vice Versa

Markant, 2002

Vice Versa cover

This one surprised me. It’s been a while since I’ve heard such a gorgeous, textured release. Throughout Vice Versa, layers of sound form melodies through subtle interactions. “Spurwechsel” is the perfect introduction—a twelve minute epic with gentle ebbs and flows. “Natura Morte” transcends its Autechre-inspired roots. This is one of the few tracks I’ve discovered that gets more interesting as it gets more dissonant. Other stand-outs include the title track, which reminds me of Analogue Bubblebath-era AFX by juxtaposing a soft, simple melody with a hard, driving beat, and “Freie Radikale,” a complex assault of beats and synth stabs that’s impossible to ignore.

Even the tracks that seem uninteresting at their start develop intriguing new ideas by the end. Markant’s created a very cohesive album, one that’s best heard from start to finish. This release stands out from all the dub- and house-inspired promos I’ve been receiving lately. It’s good to know there’s still emerging artists composing cerebral electronic music.