Upon checking my ever-growing RSS inbox of netlabel releases, I stumbled upon a release titled ‘Choose Ur Way’. Going from the spelling I quickly concluded that this probably wasn’t going to be all that good. “Oh, God. Another one of these hastily slapped-together dubstep slash drum and bass releases”, I sighed. I was wrong. Was I ever wrong. I was so wrong in fact, that I owe it to the label and all of you to tell you what a gem this truly is.
‘Choose Ur Way’ is a great introduction to the Energostatic Records catalogue. Actually, it’s more like four releases in one. The 16 tracks are neatly divided in four groups, with each group consisting of two tracks by two artists. I like this already. Choosing to include two tracks by the same artist not only provides some continuity, it also gives you a more nuanced view of said artist’s work. The styles of the four parts range from ambient over dub techno to chillstep and drum and bass. This might seem like a large leap to make in one release, but I think Energostatic gets away with it. Read on to find out why that is.
Each part of the release is given a specific vector, ranging from AA to AD. This is attention to detail in creating an atmosphere around the label really adds something extra to the experience. In a recent review, Simon Haycock pointed out that making your own netlabel is as easy as ever these days, thanks to prefab blogging software and services like soundcloud and bandcamp. While I certainly applaud these evolutions, I still find that custom-built websites which host the releases on their own pages, often take the time to add character and a uniqueness which I find lacking in many of the generic blog layouts. Energostatic Records is a great example of a label which provides this all-round house-style. The sleek design focuses on a colourful view of our galaxy. This theme of space travel fits perfectly with the styles of electronic music it releases.
Vector AA is a natural fit with the Energostatic theme, and it is a great ambient release in its own right. Copious amounts of reverb ensure a feeling of almost limitless space in Wallwerk’s ‘Lingleep’. In Vector AB, I feel like Qumesht’s brand of dub techno is a slightly better fit to the release than that of Jimmy Myhrman. The latter’s track ‘Subway’ is a little too hard-hitting, but he immediately fixes this with the wonderfully deep ‘Shadows’.
Vector AC is my least favourite, for its first three tracks present the largest discontinuity with the styles of the rest of the release. Vital picks up the ‘Fragments’ at the end though, and so leads the way for the music that should be the soundtrack for any would-be kosmonaut: Vector AD. Marc Atmost’s clean style of living room drum and bass reminds me of my childhood favourite ‘Omni Trio’. The synth pads and surgical drum hits of ‘Aural Objects (Rework)’ make this a strong track in its own right, but when the bass finally drops in, I went weak in the knees and was twelve years old again, pressing the headphones into my ears and leaning back in the sofa with a gargantuan smile.
Energostatic Records are already on their 10th release, and I should be punished for only discovering them now. If you, like me, have not heard of them before, this release will serve as an excellent introduction to their sound. If you have heard of them before, there’s no need for me to tell you anything. You’ve probably had this on repeat since the day it was released. And rightfully so. ‘Choose Ur Way’ is a great addition to any music library. I can only hope Energostatic will continue to take us on intergalactic trips like this for years to come. [SVB]
Vector AA – Wallwerk – Teaby
Vector AD – Marc Atmost – Aural Objects (Rework)
Deep link to the release
Energostatic Records website