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6LA8 - Music Observatory (w/ Rakas) CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.58 | 6 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 6LA8's first collaboration album with another artist focuses much more on forceful electronic elements than the usual cliche post-rock compositions.

It must be Rakas, the main collaborator on Music Observatory that pushed the electronic elements of 6LA8's music to the forefront and to be explored a bit more. Most of this album is glittery sounding spacey techno that almost borders bitpop and chiptune, ambient, ambient techno, and IDM, but there are also two post-rock tracks that seem to be heavily inspired by the dreamy sound of classic shoegaze.

Music Observatory introduces itself with a very laid back and deep, growling dub- influenced instrumental hip hop of "Connection" akin to Skream's debut album, and leads into a slightly out-of tune and clean-toned guitar strumming of "Starstuff" that develops into rather optimistic shoegaze that would be well suitable for scrolling ending credits after any anime film, which the track "Ecstasy" employs as well.

6LA8 and Rakas give a nod to the earlier forms of '80s era Berlin school style synths on "Advertisements" while adding modern elements like mid-range bass pulses and, strangely yet somehow fitting, an acoustic slide guitar passage that really makes this 2 and a half minute track sound very unique and original. Electro-delta blues is a genre I'd like to see explored more in the future. "Falter" continues on the same atmosphere set by the aforementioned slide guitar, but instead opts for the desolate desert sound that Earth has basically created over the past decade.

As stated earlier, there is some bitpop/chiptune influence on this album: "Neon" is a shiny but sparse sounding bitpop tune that is seems blissful but doesn't seem to add too much to the album other than to further push the fact that 6LA8 is indeed exploring their electronic side more, and I believe that this song could benefit from a stronger build-up.

One of my personal favorites is "Daft Blues" which uses very soft synth textures against a distant but direct percussion, very similar to the sometimes near-ambient short form soundscapes of Shlohmo and Shigeto. "Mileaminute" is an energetic and uplifting IDM track with an almost tropical tone, and "Retrospect" is a respectable foray into disparate broken beat.

Music Observatory is an album for people who are more interested in 6LA8's electronic side and also have a liking for modern electronic music styles. I think that this album, being 6LA8's first collaboration album, shows that 6LA8 are interested in exploring the sounds possible within their genre even if the process involves outside help. This album is a great journey and I'd recommend it for all fans of progressive music who need something more up-to-date to sink their teeth into.

colorofmoney91 | 4/5 |


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