|Album Review: Downliners Sekt – Silent Ascent|
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Paris/ Berlin/ Tokyo
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Fabrizio Rizzin and Pere Solé are the creative minds who make up the Barcelona based duo, Downliners Sekt. With their debut LP – Statement of Purpose – surfacing about a decade ago, the two found themselves as contributors to rooted IDM abstractions that were strong in the early millennium. In 2008, Rizzin and Solé pushed away from stagnancy by indulging in more adrift forms of sound design full of post-rock instrumentations with The Saltire Wave. With plenty of time to regroup the two found themselves stepping on new turf with a series of crossover dance oriented EP’s that led up to 2014’s Silent Ascent. Once again using the full-length format to magnify the core dance sectors found in their previous EP’s, Downliners Sekt use to their advantage the ability to produce the atmospheric and batter it with other musical elements that come off as both relevant and original for them.
“Soul Debris” opens things up in a classic way that grabs our attention at first listen. Crackling statics gracefully soil the track’s surface that hangs on low-pitched vocal samples, field recordings, and tender kicks; detail is clearly still one of their strong points here. More so, the same detail-format is displayed in standout tracks like “Eiger Dreams” and “Once Mercurial” that do a fine job at mixing in the modern dubbier techno rhythms while never straying too far from the sultriness and sweet smother found in most of the album. For those in search of something closer resembling their debuting sounds, title track “Silent Ascent” and “This American Life” serve a nice back to back position that features smooth atmospheres and felt breaking beats. Once the album reaches “Junior High”, however, a significant shift of consciousness occurs. With a feeling of assertion and completion, the unpredictability in its aligned position and composition create memorable moments for the listener.
If we can tip our hats to Downliners Sekt’s for a few things, their boldness to progressively take on new sounds and their ability to retain consistency within the sonic scope of each individual full-length album would be worth a mention. At the same time, wherein previous LP’s they’ve found ways to stretch and reshape sounds satisfyingly, Silent Ascent’s consistency led to a slight turn off this time around. The predictability and unchanging uniformity in most of the album can convert an active listener into a passive one. Such antics made me savor and appreciate the numbered moments of spontaneity spread over the course of 62 minutes. With clear moments of controlled elevation and obsessive tendencies within detail, this album is one you probably won’t have on constant replay, but it sure is one worth a spot in your collection for those easy listening nocturnal yearnings we all randomly get from time to time.
Always pushing forth with a new sound in mind, we can only await to see what new sounds they will be trying out in future releases.