Moment Sound Vol. 1
Inaugurating the vinyl series of the Moment Sound label is Moment Sound Vol. 1, a twelve-inch compilation that spotlights original work by the label's founders Garo (Garo Tokat), Lokua (Joshua Kleckner), and Slava (Slava Balasanov), all three of them musicians from Chicago. Though they clearly differ in various ways, the album's seven tracks are all thoroughly well-crafted exemplars of a house style resolutely committed to synthetic design. The producers aim to draw from the deep traditions established by their forebears and update them into an ultra-modern, future-oriented style. In that all three succeed, though there's no question Slava's two rapturous tracks are the collection's standouts. First out of the gate is his “Anything,” which begins by offsetting a 4/4 kick drum pulse with a funky house swing and subsequently escalates into a radiant swirl of chords, washes, voices, and beats. Words like pulsating, effervescent, aerodynamic, and sleek come to mind as one basks in Slava's deep synthesizer textures. His later “Cosmic River,” a blinding fusion of trance and house, proves just as powerful, and it's easy to get swept up in its dizzying sway.
The other tracks are never less than good, just not as ear-catching. Lokua serves up bass-heavy digi-funk in “Chiberia” and menace in “Violence Jack,” the latter's pulsating synth melodies marred slightly by the track's ‘80s-sounding electronic drums. Garo's represented by three cuts, of which the best is “Nightlife Reconsidered,” a midtempo slice of funky house swing where showers of crystalline synths, chiming melodies, chunky bass lines, and swirling synths interweave. Traces of Italo seep into the otherwise electro-funk atmosphere of “Genie,” which Garo sweetens with a tight funk beat and funk synth-bass, while Garo roots the dreamy “Steamship” (Garo) in drum'n'bass. That he opts to do understatedly testifies to the circumspection all three producers bring to the release's refined productions.