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

MUSIC OBSERVATORY (W/ RAKAS)

6LA8

Progressive Electronic


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The Truth
COLLABORATOR
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars On 6LA8 & Rakas' new album Music Observatory we get all the things I've come to love about both projects (6LA8 has kept my interest for about a year now and Rakas I was just recently introduced to) and a little bit more and by more I mean even more experimentation and layering of sounds which creates a very dense and inspired listen. Here's a track-by- track breakdown:

'Connection' opens the album with gentle ambient tones that eventually turn into a trip- hoppy track of goodness that is a brilliant opening.

'Starstuff' is a flashback of 6LA8's gentle side of post-rock sound they achieved on their first record with perhaps a bit more texture which makes it all the better. A gentle interlude that braces for the track to come.

'Advertisements' is an eerie track with an electronica feel that really keeps the listener's ears perked through the whole track. In all honesty, it gets abrasively wonderful at times.

'Falter' is another track that starts off with a beautiful ambient feel but this time turns into a track reminiscent of some of This Is Not A Conceptual Album's pieces. Which, I might add, is a very good thing.

'Neon' is an aptly titled song as at times it gives the feel of bright neon signs reflecting off rainwater in a street. Or at least that's the feel I get. It's a very surreal track.

'Ecstasy' maintains this mood but has a little bit different flavor to it, quite possibly due to the different texture the listener can sense in the background. A track also very aptly named, it gives a feeling of true ecstasy.

'Propagate' is a very droney track which is always welcome in my book. It almost serves as a moment of reflection for the listener, makes them think about what they're hearing. It picks up pace, which is another welcome moment, and closes beautifully leaving the listener particularly satisfied with this track.

'Virdian' goes back to the ambient post-rock atmosphere but has a really indefinable (this project, in a nutshell) quality to it. Worth taking a second listen.

'Dinkywinkydoo' brings me to one of my favorite parts of the albums these guys release, the sound clips from various sources. Put to the electronic/ambient music it is paired with creates some of the coolest musical effects ever and the band thrives on this.

'Perfidy' is an energetic little piece recalling the atmosphere of 'Ecstasy' and perhaps giving the mood a little more.

'Daft Blues' is basically what it says. It sounds like Daft Punk doing the blues. A very interesting combination to say the least but it is a thoroughly entertaining track.

'Isthmus' is a strange little mood shift from the previous track, this one full of more angst than 'Daft Blues' while still keeping many of its qualities. A good pair of tracks to say the least.

'Mileaminute' is an upbeat and actually infectiously catchy tune that is an oddity of the album. It's childlike at times but always retains the amount of darkness the rest of the album has. A fun little interlude as the album starts winding to it's close.

'Retrospect' comes in seamlessly after 'Mileaminute' but takes the childlike qualities and beats them with a drumstick. A very effective track after the fact that takes the mind places even further away from the land where the rest of the album takes you.

The final track, 'Sulphur' has a particularly ominous tone from the very start, you can tell it's going to be an epic ending to an epic album. The track gains a ton of dronebient momentum before it winds to a slow and sudden halt which leaves the listener quite breathless. Bells to the fin, a perfect end.

All-in-all, an entertaining collaboration between two very interesting bands. Worthy of anyone's attention and definitely will grip that attention tightly. A well done effort.

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Send comments to The Truth (BETA) | Report this review (#571336)
Posted Sunday, November 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars I have to admit Progressive Electronic is by no means my favorite music, this being my only second review ever in this genre. But this album is a free download and their nationality (Pakistan) would hopefully add something more to the genre than the usual fare.

The local flavours is a bit missing on this album, although I may have missed the local flavours. This album is a coop between Rakas and 6LA8 too. Hence, it is not a normal 6LA8 album. The first half has some organic flavours of some strings added. But there are also plenty of nifty computer works here too. All of the album, I guess. In this respect, it reminds me a lot about Senmuth, their brother in crime from the other side of the Karakoram mountains range. But 6LA8's music is a lot soft edged and softer than Senmuth's music. But it is still computer music.

This album is pretty decent with the first half of the album having some good melody lines. The final half is very poor though. This is a decent album, but nothing more. It is a free download though so make up your own mind as I have made up my mind.

2 stars

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Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#626076)
Posted Saturday, February 04, 2012 | Review Permalink
colorofmoney91
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.

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Send comments to colorofmoney91 (BETA) | Report this review (#634862)
Posted Thursday, February 16, 2012 | Review Permalink

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