Release Date: May 22, 2012
Record label: 50 Weapons
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
Whether you rated it or not, James Blake's debut album sold over 60,000 copies in the UK alone last year, which certainly gave the bigger underground labels food for thought. Sure, creative integrity and artistic progression still rule over financial return for imprints worth their salt, but the pursuit of a lucrative yet credible middle ground is evidently on the rise. Over the past three years, Modeselektor's two prolific release channels—Monkeytown and 50 Weapons—have steadily amassed a comprehensive roster of in-vogue producers.
Maybe the time has come to acknowledge the fact that an awful lot of electro these days is basically a sort of easy listening music -- and that there's really nothing wrong with that. Case in point: the latest from Berlin-based artist Phon.o, which takes elements of dubstep, techno, dub, and U.K.-funky, and puts them together with a winning combination of beats-wise assertiveness and gentle persuasion. Every track may not be equally fascinating, but all are eminently listenable.
‘Black Boulder’ will not change your life. It does not rip electronic music a new A-hole. Yet, it navigates a contemporary confluence of influences with such wit, intelligence and passion that (certainly if you like Joy O or Zomby) you will just simply love it. A lot. Like his mate Apparat ….