Mor Elian Radical Spectacular
Published Sep 25, 2019Ever since the Hessle Audio gang first started pushing their dubstep-techno-UKG hybrid sound in the late 2000s, there's been an underlying trend in the world of underground dance music: a compression of its history, where eras and styles are mashed together and neatly put in (mostly) house and techno packages. While it hasn't led to something truly revolutionary yet, it has undoubtedly freshened things up and inspired artists to not abide by the strict rules of specific subgenres or local scenes.
One such artist is Israeli-born DJ and producer Mor Elian, who has shaped her creative voice in Berlin and Los Angeles after growing up with Tel Aviv's house music scene. Her new release comes in the form of Radical Spectacular, her third offering for the Fever AM label, which she co-founded with Cassergrain's Alex Tsiridis (aka Rhyw). Some will surely find something to like here, but others might be a tad disappointed.
Like many of her contemporaries, Mor Elian's doesn't stay fixated on any one style, making club-ready music, equally suited for headphone listening sessions, that straddles the line between electro and techno, employing subtly inventive rhythms over a moody weirdness that calls on Detroit techno vibes or warm Berlin minimalism. This approach is hinted at on "Wave of Alienation": a walking, sticky bass line, coupled with syncopated kicks, takes centre stage as a classic UKG, Mike Millrain-esque snare brings the track to an infectious, hopping shuffle layered with playful, icy synths.
But that isn't the case with both the titular track and "Farewell to the Snare." The former relies on a '90s IDM palette that is now played to death, and the latter acts as the breaks-inspired number that is currently becoming mandatory for leftfield techno releases. They are certainly well put together, but they also present a mishmash of elements that we are all too familiar with at this point, and don't leave a lasting impression amid the deluge of similar music. Despite this, Mor Elian's new EP should be a worthwhile listen for her fans. (Fever AM)