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Go BackPrepare to flash... Sodium Records reignite.

Posted: 27/11/07 10:58

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Sodium hasn't released a record in nearly 18 months so – for good measure – they've decided to drop not one but two explosive new tracks. Voyeur11 (Boom Music), aka Sodium 10, bolts off the blocks in a flurry of acid electro noise that practically catapults you to your feet.

The handiwork of Montreal DJ Jordan Dare (one of the DJs involved in the ultra-cool I Love Neon party collective) Voyeur11 is unfancy, unfussy and utterly irrepressible. It kicks like a shot of cheap vodka and gets the party started twice as fast. Think full-bore buzzsaw basslines, huge metallic drums and head-twisting acid flourishes. It is the unfiltered sound of illegal raves in abandoned buildings or beneath the stars; of being young, reckless and not giving a fuck. On the b-side Sodium Records A&R boss Ulysses tweaks the hell-for-leather original slightly for smooth, classic acid house feel.

Doppler Effect squeals highlight the snarling bassline while a man shouts "music" over the top. It's slower but no less propulsive; slowly working from your ears down to your feet till your whole body is captivated by the chemically fuelled beats. And there's a bonus: the raucous Digitalism-esque electro noise of Fatline Punk MFs, a swaggering dancefloor anthem for which the adjective "dirty" was created. After the white-knuckle ride of Voyeur11 there is a hint of respite in the form of Resistance by Ulysses. Or so it seems, as the a-side Nick Chacona & Stefny remix lures you in with spacious-sounding techno vibes. Their remix has a classic feel too – lots of big, echo-y synths and crispy percussion. Something happens though. One minute you're sitting nodding along, the next a fusillade of bleeps and squeaks comes tearing into your ears as the bassline bubbles like a pot of over-heated fondue.


Better still is Tony Rohr's remix, which tones down the jittery electro-tech of the original and gives it a spankingly modern finish. Rohr hijacks Ulysses' (good) jumpy, funky creation and re-imagines it as deep, melodic, insistent electronica. Luxuriant layers of sound build one on the other, perfectly placed effects sneak up and tease you before flitting away to allow the tough, subtle bassline to do its work. Flawlessly built and almost infinitely nuanced, it is nevertheless a track that makes you want to move. In this sense, it is reminiscent of one of my favourite cuts from last year, SCSI 9's luscious yet insistent When She Said Goodbye, which was a standard bearer for sexy, intelligent, non-drippy electronica.

Releasing one essential 12" is an achievement. Releasing two simultaneously is a minor miracle. And to do so after an 18 month hiatus is – well – we take our hats off to them. In the space of a mere six tracks Sodium takes us from a grimy warehouse to the sleek confines of, say, Weekend in Berlin – and all without sounding remotely contrived. As comebacks go, this will take some beating.




Words by Cila Warncke