George Issakidis – Karezza (Kill The DJ Records)

Techno artist George Issakidis has been producing music for 15 years, and has only just gotten around to releasing a full-length album this year. In the past, he has collaborated with the legendary Speedy J on various singles and as one half of the Micronauts with Christophe Monier. He also releases eclectic tracks from a euro-tech base, both on his own label – The Republic of Desire – and for Artefact and NoveMute.

15 years is a long time to get an album right. Did George nail Karezza? He done well. The blend of sonics sounds what I imagine a Mediterranean ocean full of electric eels would sound like.

To give a bit more solidarity to this ridiculous metaphor, the album starts ominously in ‘Hiva Oa’ with a plodding, menacing beat, accompanied by a menacing monosyllabic organ tone discordantly building in the background and later joined by chaotic low moog synths bubbling at the forefront. It gives the impression of something lurking beneath the surface.

This is followed up by pleasant tropical guitar plucking in ‘Santa Rosa de Lima’, before reverting to the plodding mysterious menace of ‘Hold My Hand’, which plays over ten minutes, but the track is suitably atmospheric and plays the right tempo to allow this length.

The party starts at ‘Summer Solstice’ with a faster pace, but sort of ruined by overly-adventurous and experimental electronic roaring that is out of time and doesn’t conform with the breadth of the track. ‘Shiver’ is a great booty-shaker with an up-change in tempo, but vox stabs and general chaos within melodic structure once again doesn’t particularly compliment Karezza in this case.

This is made up in Karezza stand-out and dancefloor smasher with its heavy bassline and groovy percussive licks and clicks, but still suffers from the same disapparate hecticness that is supposed to be experimentally broken, but doesn’t quite come off although closer on mark this time.

‘Next To You’ and ‘Karezza’ carry on the same tradition of dark and electrified downtempo beats that carry the same atmosphere, except a bit more restrained this time, which helps with the overall subtletly of Karezza.

In the end, this is a brave and great alternative to the majority of generic european techno, and a good try, but therein lies the problem, in that Karezza does try a bit too hard to impress with an exciting front of sonic bells and whistles, but should be concentrating more on the basics of composition.

7 out of a possible 10 Haarp Strings.



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