VA: The Tandem Series 4

Boltfish Recordings' split series continues with Mise en scene (Shay Nassi from Haifa , Israel) and soundhacker member dooQ, both artists' tracks upholding the label's reputation for well-crafted melodic electronica. Nassi conjoins a commendable predilection for clarity with three-dimensional depth in his five tracks, qualities presumably attributable to some degree to his studies in Practical Sound Engineering at Israel 's Jordan Valley College . He's a man of many moods too, with “Under Stretching Frequencies” sleek, bright, and buoyant while “Yoyo,” by contrast, is ominous and foreboding, an aural soundtrack for a journey through an ancient torture chamber.

Though the dooQ project is characterized as “a feeble excuse to spend even more time in the studio playing with toys, widgets n gizmos,” the four pieces here sound anything but slapdash. Like Mise en scene, dooQ evidences a broad stylistic range in his material but also an occasional hip-hop influence; “Januar,” for instance, offers a superb fusion of bell-like sparkle and downtempo, acoustic bass-led funk rhythms. In addition, the aptly-named “Prowler” slinks surreptitiously through a galaxy of spacey textures and woozy signals, and zither-like tones imbue “Ekaarian” with a vaguely Middle Eastern ambiance despite the presence of snappy breaks.

September 2006