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What better way for Touchin’ Bass to kickstart their 2008 release schedule than with this long awaited 4-tracker from the very talented electro contortionists, Bitstream. Brothers Steve and Dave Connor have been releasing 12s as Bitstream since 1998 after a friend who worked at their local record shop in the East Midlands heard some tracks they’d laid down on tape and was impressed enough to fund their first release. Using a mixture of analogue and digital gear their music has been influenced by many different styles and appeared on labels like Signal, Modern Love, City Centre Offices and of course Touchin’ Bass. In 2005 a selection of their initial releases was compiled to form their debut album ‘Domestic Economy 7’ on Modern Love. Over the last couple of years, apart from their fantastic Depeche Mode remixes, things have been a bit quiet on the Bitstream front so it’s with great pleasure that Touchin’ Bass present this latest piece of finery. ‘Steeljacket’ gets us off on the right foot with a computerised landscape of bleeps, chirps and distorted frequencies leading into sub base cyber heaven. The almost melancholic analog tones of ‘Tivoli’ finish off the A side on a more melodic note with its beautiful keys and cinematic tone. Flipping over to the B side ‘Trumbull’ takes up the pace again in fine style with a jerky repetitive beat, twitching and contorting into life before it gradually builds into a frenzy of modulated notes. The closing track, ‘Muspel’ is overlaid with vocoded samples that seem to flutter and stutter over the backdrop of this electro packed body-twitcher. With their first EP for Touchin’ Bass, ‘Streamling’ released back in 2005, ‘The Severed EP’ may have been some time coming, but it’s definitely worth the wait.
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