Umwelt - Days of Dissent
Since Zeltron, his debut release in '97, French musician Fred Poncet, aka Umwelt, has quietly established himself as a key player in the Electro scene, and can comfortably be mentioned in the same breath as celebrated protagonists like Drexciya, Legowelt, Anthony Rother and The Exaltics. With his early education in New Beat and Rap and playing music at Rave parties in the early 90s, he soon followed the route to production, making his own Techno and Electro. The main outlet for releasing his own music has been through his own labels (Fundata, Shelter, New Flesh and Rave Or Die) but this new album, Days of Dissent, finds a welcome home elsewhere, and helps to launch a brand new imprint called Boidae (a sub-label of Killekill).
Clocking in at a sweet 45 minutes, the eight tracks of Days of Dissent are all killer, and I mean every single track — each telling a story, evoking emotions and raising hairs. With many moments of head-nodding brilliance (Non Conformity, Revolt, Days of Dissent) offset with dark vibes (Factory Of Death, Citadel Of The Chaos, End of Light) his fourth album has got the balance and poise of a classic in the making. Tieing everything together so expertly are the tough Electro beats he's become renowned for, but the decisive element is melody... an abundance of it! Album highlight Company Of Lies, exemplifying this aspect, opens with a viscious, thudding bass drum, the tension building round a rising, looped melody and crackly riffs, eventually breaking down and then, at 4:32, the heavy beat triumphantly returns. I rarely rate albums 10/10 these days, but this one is up there with the best.
10/10 after 22 listens