Petar Dundov: Ideas From The Pond
If Croatian DJ/producer Petar Dundov is anything, it's consistent: the first sound one hears on Ideas From The Pond is a chiming keyboard sound that will continue to bubble and percolate throughout all seven of the album's tracks. That he also evidences a refined sensitivity to sound is explained, at least in part, by the fact that he runs his own ‘Neumatik' studio in Zagreb where he works as a sound engineer. So no one should be too surprised by the radiant shimmer and ultra-polished sheen of the music presented on the release, though one might be a bit surprised by how indebted his fluid material is to the analogue synthesizer sound associated with figures like Jean-Michel Jarre, Klaus Schulze, and Tangerine Dream.
There's also a restlessness about Dundov's music; though the genre within which he's operating brings with it some natural degree of repetition, his tracks are never static but instead are in perpetual motion and undergo constant mutation. That powerful sense of forward momentum is heard clearly in a propulsive piece like “Silent Visitor,” where tinkling synthesizer patterns perform cartwheels alongside beat patterns that cruise ever so gracefully. “Brownian Interplay” exudes a more relaxedly swinging house feel before its bass-powered rhythms plunge deeper.
An interesting sequencing design characterizes the album, with the opening two tracks ultimately coming to seem more like scene-setters for “Distant Shores,” which takes Dundov's sound to a higher level. Following an intro of rather “Baba O'Riley”-esque character, the rhythms kick in forcefully, growing muscular before pulling back to let the tension build before the next, even more glorious attack arrives. Coming ever more into focus, the track eventually reveals itself to be equal parts space disco and trance, with both woven into an epic, twelve-minute ride. The soaring “Together” even more directly references German synthesizer music of the ‘70s in its pulsating patterns, drum machine beats, and clean analogue design, and there are parts that could pass for edited sections of “Autobahn” (the tinkling “Hall of Mirrors”-like melodies that open “Around One” likewise hint at a Kraftwerk influence).
Light years removed from anything glitch-related, Dundov's hypnotic, multi-layered techno is the very quintessence of sleek. As solid as it is, Ideas From The Pond can at times feel overlong, which is to be expected given its seventy-eight-minute running time; with that in mind, it might have been wiser for Dundov to have included six tracks rather than seven. Regardless, anyone climbing aboard is in for a long and engrossing journey.