London, in case you missed it, last Friday, Fabric had a stellar line up in the main room presented by Jack Beats including: Mark Ronson, Jack Beats, Proxy and Bot. I went early with high hopes and wasn’t disappointed. While the dancefloor, bar and virtually every square inch of the building was crowded, that probably had much to do with the talent present, which will always attract those people looking for their electro/techno fix. This is something that seems to be depleted in house & trap music obsessed London, or at least so I’ve seen so far.
I had heard Proxy’s Fader mix a few days before so I was excited to see him play specifically because of how much I enjoyed the mix. Well, on top of the Fader mix and Fabric appearance, the Russian electro-wizard just released part two of his ‘Music From The Eastblock Jungles’ earlier this week. If you’ve listened to part one or the remix package we posted in the past or even just have a general idea of who Proxy is, then you’ll immediately expect the quality sounds coming from this release.There seems to be a story weaved throughout the entire release, I tried to listen in for it on this second release with a track to track review:
- Every great electronic album I’ve listened to starts out with a very powerful beginning. Powerful doesn’t necessary relate to amplitude, it’s just something that grabs your attention right off the bat. This first track does both. There’s a very grandeur, cinematic element that comes back in later songs and says a lot about the work and Proxy’s intents with the overall aesthetic nature of the album. Much like a film, you’re supposed to be entertained and taken outside of yourself to this “eastblock jungle”.
- This short sample seems to have been taken from an early movie, further supporting my theory on the stylistic choices of the producer. I like the percussion in here too. There’s a very jackin’ house swing going on that I personally think is highly underappreciated in the usually concrete 4 to the floor genres of hard techno/electro, where basslines usually dominate tunes.
3. Indian Film
- The immediate racing hats give this one a faster feel than the previous two. The building synth initially put this sense of anticipation in me as well. This sound in particular really encapsulates the ‘electro feel’ with it’s (tastefully) overly distorted bass that drowns out everything in its path. The sense of anticipation turns into urgency with the breaks and bass.
4. Cobra Combo
- The warbling midrange bass in this track really suits the name as it seemed to be coiling itself in and out quite like a snake causing me to hypnotically bob my head. The pitched LFO synth sounds like a futuristic police siren (maybe from the Eastblock Jungle?). Also as a side note, I could see some budding producing using the siren synth in a trap remix, which considering they take about 30 minutes to make, could be done by tomorrow.
5. In Time (skit 2)
-Wonderful disco influence on this one. Filtered female vocals will never get old! Great choice in sampling too, the jazz break was almost a divergence from the initial theme and was an unexpected surprise for me.
- Wow. Sounds like late seventies/early eighties disco. I immediately thought of Anita Ward with the bleeps at the beginning. With the vocal sample and the percussion, it gave the track a much more…tropical vibe to it. Interesting concept, especially in context of the album.
- This track is a prime example of the sound that is associated with Proxy. You can find many of his signature sounds are here.
-This one was a cool concept to me as well. It reminds me of a Japanese fighting game. Between the…Japanese and the building stabs that excite you upon impact. The long build-up does just that and makes you wait for the “fight” or drop to happen. When it does, we’re given a more current representation of electro-techno with sounds that are similar to TAI, Bart B More, etc.
9. Who Are You? (770EQ)
- This is one of Proxy’s most known tracks. It creates a tension for the listener and can be described as hectic. Perfect for moshing to if that’s what you’re into.
- This one draws back to the cinematic influences, but this time it seems to be leaning towards a horror genre with the start of the track. It quickly molds into this sporadic metal rock track that leaves me with a sense of aggression.
11. Audio 15
- I’m calling this one surreal acid house. It has many unsettling, almost irrational sounds yet is able to tie it altogether with the familiar sound of the synth.
- We’re back to the cinematic elements in the last track. It’s much slower than the other tracks on the album, clearly nodding to hip-hop and 2-step though I wouldn’t completely classify this track as either of those genres. While as perfect of an ending song as it can be, it makes me wonder what the core theme in this album is since it jumps around in terms of stylistic influences.
So needless to say there seems to be a clear message in this album, but I don’t quite know what it is? Maybe Proxy is painting a cinematic picture of the Eastblock Jungle through his audio adventure? Or maybe it’s just music to dance to and I’m reading into it too much. Either way, it is a stellar release and a living testament that electro music is still very much relevant today. We will see about answering more questions about the release. Maybe we can try and get an interview to have our questions answered
MUSIC FROM THE EASTBLOCK JUNGLES PART 2 (out February 11 via Dim Mak Records)