February 6, 2005 Subject:
Skillfully curated, delicious
"Ctrl-F2 is the first music compilation for online magazine Modsquare. Skillfully curated by founder Liz McLean Knight and available as a free MP3 download or sampler-priced CD-R for those with dialup, I'm sure it won't be the last. From the stuttering Aphex-style electro breaks of Atropa's "Yaser" to the graceful glitch of Praveen Sharma's "Elephant Feet," Ctrl-F2 consistently manages to one-up itself in its style and diversity. Equulei's "I Break For Children" flirts with a "Born Slippy"-era Underworld build that begins with insistent breaks over unfolding layers of loops before dropping a choice 4/4 beat that dissolves into a sustained breakdown perfect for long beatmatches. Matthew Mercer's "Buy Back Popular Demand" fashions a kind of broken glitchtech with a crock-pot of simmering samples programmed to be ladled at random as the baked beats are served oven-hot. Kero's "3-21" moves on into classic IDM with an inspired mix of crunchy rhythms and silken organ pads that are mindful to their experienced sources, while still maintaining a fresh twist. And speaking of twists, Quantazelle's "Braking (Broken)" gets its original coherent construction rearranged by way of unknown Feng Shui methods and what results is a slightly twisted, crunchier variation just as tasty.
The shifting, bubbly 8-bit melodies and rhythms of R. Garcias Washing My Pants make me want to see if theres a hidden SAP function for some unreleased GameBoy classic featuring mazes of gyrating sunflowers and bouncy fuzzy creatures showing the way out. The sunflowers turn into thorny evil carnivorous plants and the fuzzy creatures become bloodthirsty rabid rodents weakened only by enchanted swordplay in The Flashbulbs Lawn Wake IV (Black), which to me sounds like a reverent chiptune ode to epic guitar god Yngwie Malmsteen. The mania continues with Atomlys Big Up Mi Snacks, a DSP/Jungle-flavored Dancehall excursion complete with an MC toasting while nursing a glass of Absinthe. The glass gets passed on to Aaron Funk who shares it with Ennio Morricone and what results is Mochipets Desert Search For Techno Baklava, a track guaranteed not to disappoint those intrigued by its clever title.
If Ctrl-F2 is just the first course of Modsquares collection of free audio, theres no doubt in my mind the rest is burning a hole in Liz McLean Knights hard drive. Until the second course is served, we can savor what Ctrl-F2 has on its delicious menu. " John Reveles, IGLOOMAG.COM