Balthazar // Midnight City EP [Pulsewith Records]
I wouldn’t call myself an avid admirer-er of album art, but there was something about the way “Mastered by Robert Babicz” was scrawled across this EP that caught my eye. The first thing I thought of was those film trailers, which emblazon “FROM THE PRODUCERS OF LORD OF THE RINGS” directly into your eyeballs, in an attempt to dupe the misguided into viewing something that is, in reality, fundamentally unrelated at its core. Sadly, Balthazar’s Midnight City is actually rather good, meaning that my plan of spreading 37 paragraphs of sarcasm across this page has to be put on hold.
Any fan of Henry Saiz’s expansive electronics will absolutely love this – balearic, oceanic bliss splash across the higher tempo numbers, Midnight City and In The Face Of Death, with crescendos rising and falling like the swell of the sea. Midnight City‘s phasing groove and vocals fall on the early evening side of the divide, with the other side housing the bubbling build of In The Face Of Death, a fully flowing and fluid Progressive piece.
In the lower tempo tracks, Hopefully is angular, like a slow burning Progressive track, with timestretching vocals and a restrained menace hiding under the hood. The weakest of the collection is the guitar flecked and dubby Sons Of Guns, ever so slightly feeling like one of those “here is a token downtempo track” moments, pleasant and something you’d smile politely at before moving on.
Considering I don’t need much of an opportunity to go on a large scale moan-a-thon, it is impressive that I have been turned around in this instance. Also, a part of me likes to give this sound, one which was thoroughly snubbed by Resident Advisor’s silence on the part of Henry Saiz’s outstanding Balance mix, a little prop to the masses.
Release Date: Aug ’12