Pacifica


[Modern Technology Meets Sexual Obsession sleeve]"Modern Technology Meets Sexual Obsession" (Album, 1999)

Endorphin

When I'm 64 bit, Go snowflake!, Beauty, brains and biology and This is where I get emotional are just some of the titles on this release which show that Pacifica at least don't take themselves too seriously. In fact, one person, Rod Sledge, is behind this accomplished release. A fusion of drum 'n' bass beats and chill-out ambient chords and strings, sometimes within the same track, that manages to sound cohesive rather than messy.

The opening When I'm 64 bit may have fast, staccato drum and percussion patterns but thanks to Sledge's approach to composition there's plenty of space around the beats. This means that the backing ambient strings and drones can be clearly heard through the main rhythm. And this approach is largely typical of Modern Technology Meets Sexual Obsession. Basically instrumentals throughout, although some have enigmatic sampled voices drifting through the arrangements, the result is an album that displays plenty contrast and variety yet still comes across with a distinctive character of its own. Unlike much music of this type, the nine tracks have quite short running times and the whole thing runs for less than 40 minutes. Which is fine. The last thing you want is a track outstaying its welcome and that doesn't often happen here.

Prime cuts are Go Snowflake! with its soothing bleeping intro and mellow bass backing; Beauty, brains and biology for its unusual muted production style and its clever layering of simple patterns; and the final track, This is where I get emotional for its looping organ-style keyboard, brushed percussion and domestic trauma samples that float to the surface throughout. Rod Sledge has managed to cut a memorable, clever and highly enjoyable niche for Pacifica. The project deserves to do well for Sledge and the fledgling Endorphin label who, with the equally-impressive acceleradeck, ought to break through the fiercely competitive dance market with its intelligent take on the scene. 7/10

Rob Dyer


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