Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep: Shamanic Technology : "Doorways" (Herb Recordings)

Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Shamanic Technology : "Doorways" (Herb Recordings)

Having described the music of Shamanic Technolgy on these pages as "brilliant anthemic and euphoric electronic music", "Doorways" is an album that I have been anticipating for some time now. A mix up of some sorts at the Herb HQ meant it was delayed for a good few months. But it is now out there and the overall signs are good, it has been worth the wait.

For the uninitiated, Shamanic Technology is the work of Bournemouth based producer Chris Hare and the project was designed to allow him to break free from the shackles of dj'ing in the UK club scene. "Doorways" is his answer to those rigid club rules and is an album in a similar head-nodding vein to labelmates Rubens, only it is presented in a much darker manner.

The crystal clear production and crips beatwork immediately sets this album apart and is testament to the 2 years it took Hare to write and record. Recording as Shamanic Technology has allowed Hare to breathe and develop a largely distinctive sound. Of course, everyone has their influences and "Doorways" vaguely recalls the likes of Plaid, Boards of Canada and even a bit of Amon Tobin.

There is a sense that a lot of thought has went into this album in terms of making a unique sound, with Hare expanding on the template outlined by the aforementioned artists. Psychedlic melodies collide with broken (but clear) beatwork and frequent spoken word samples that gives this album a dynamic aura. More often than not, "Doorways" sounds fantastic.

Last December Herb Recordings donated an mp3 of "Electronic Therapy" to this site for people to sample the mood of the album. It was an excellent choice because it is indicative of Shamanic Technology's overall sound. One of the more accesible numbers, back in December I described it as a track full of "satisfying and snappy beats and urgent synths" and I stand by this statement. It also reinforces the anthemic quality of Hare's music.

"Pathseeker" shows Shamanic Technology in a different light and is more playful in nature. Basing the track around a hazy, floating melody, the meticulous programming provides a perfect backdrop. The crackling beatwork of "mIrRoRs" further enhances Hare's reputation of adept producer, while listening through headphones reveals several subtle enhancements that may go unnoticed on first listen. "Toy Vision", meanwhile, features a twisted toybox melody that soon mutates into a segment of synth bubble melodies and elastic beats. The simple but full-bodied sound quality helps to propel this ambitious number forward.

"Doorways" is a distinctive statement form Shamanic Technology. Amid the gifted production style, clear-cut beats, interesting vocal samples and darkened melodies, a huge amount of ideas are bursting to get out. At times it's playful, elsewhere it's trippy and others it's downright evil sounding. But the overall ambition ensures that "Doorways" remains an eventful experience and it serves to stretch electronica into some uncharted territories.

Rating - 80%

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"Toy Vision" mp3 - Shamanic Technology

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