Pellarin & Lenler Going Through Phases

[Statler & Waldorf; 2006]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: dub techno, glitchy hip-hop
Others: Cristian Vogel, Beans, DNTEL, Comb & Prosperous

Lars Pellerin deserves props simply for co-running a label called Statler and Waldorf, named after the two box-seat-heckling Muppets. This alone is enough to earn a special place in my heart. My ears, however, are another matter. For Going Through Phases, Lars has hooked up with fellow Danish producer Kim Lenler, and with the goal of making R&B-meets-experimental-techno in mind, their collective efforts have produced an album packed with lazy dub techno (usually featuring somber English vocals) and atmospheric, electronic hip-hop reminiscent of the kind Beans has been attempting to create for years, yet has not quite achieved. However, for all the static effects and 303 synth tweaks, Pellarin & Lenler can't avoid the same drawback of Beans' more minimal affairs, namely an overall feeling of sterility. Not to sound like a purist or anything, but hip-hop at its best is vibrant and invigorating, not sluggish and depressing. In this cause, a longer version of the "Tribute To Eric B" would have been nice, as well as possibly enlisting an emcee for a track or two instead of just singers. Nonetheless, Phases remains a highlight amongst its like-minded brethren, despite its faults.

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