Mobthrow – Unfolded

Must we say it again and ruin the opening of yet another review with repeat phrasing?  Ad Noiseam releases some of the most dank as fak music in eletronic in the entire history of the universe, and we're including in there alien races yet to be discovered that press LPs using bioluminescence.  Seriously, anything this guy sends us in the mail is excellent.  In fact, every review should just state "this is from Ad Noiseam" and then we can stop wasting your time and just deal out the minimum 4/5 it deserves, usually higher.  But let us continue and have a reason to exist as a site of musical criticism and knowledge.  Angelos Liaros is the Greek-born fury behind Mobthrow, who was once the head of the now-defunct Spectraliquid label in Athens before he eventually moved to Berlin.  His first release was under this his own label, in 2009, and now here we are in 2014 with his latest full-length and second appearance on Ad Noiseam.  Being that we were in a general mood for some sort of serious electronic, this one was on repeat in the car and elsewhere for about three weeks, and now it is time to reveal how much we wish we could say about it with these pathetic words.  Unfolded is the perfect blend of beat and atmosphere, almost the entire tracklist is a pleasing concoction to imbibe and bring yourself to new levels of appreciation of the finer sounds to be found out there, hiding among the refuse of the unskilled.

  

Unfolded is clearly steady for its imagery from the moment the beat hits, but did that cover, because it says a ton.  It's multidimensional, difficult to grasp as any one shape or thing.  Opening with an unusual, short series of bizarre sounds a naturescape gives way and then it begins.  "Black Fluid" shows the skill of Mobthrow clearly, he creates his main patterns based on usages of heavy beat balanced with light textures.  Heavy hits are strongly contrasted to light drums, and the bass flows deep into your core, so turn it up to get the full effect.  But this isn't merely a dance-floor pastiche, Liaros goes through a number of classic club genres including some dub, downtempo, tribal and others, but all with a careful attention given to simple layering, almost like an eccentric collector who seems to have a general direction but gets it from multiple entities.  Relying on simplicity is more complex than one would think, because it requires an intuitive sense of drive in this kind of music.  You can't simply drop beat after beat, it needs to have an element of substance behind it, and Mobthrow proves here he is largely capable of delivering.

 

If there can be any complaint about Unfolded, and there isn't that much room for it, trust us, it would be that certain tracks dominate others.  We don't mean filler, so don't think they're simply "those which we must skip", no, they're more like respites, gasping for air from the liquid depths into which Mobthrow dives.  This is an unfortunate consequence of this type of music; typically artists of his caliber will often find a sick groove and lasso it into their grips, but then lose the listener when they appear to enter an intermission phase, especially if such tracks have a lighter, more ambient approach, which occurs in a few in Unfolded that tend to divert attention away from its general direction.  Tracks like "Triple Acid" tear into your brain, while others like "Cruise Me" develop their sound in ambience in ways that display what this artist is capable of doing, but some like "The Wayfarer" are too absent in beat, and it's easy to forget them.  Mobthrow loses a bit of his essence in other examples too, but as a whole Unfolded provides an excellent listen, it's just that the really driving tracks have a way of standing too high above the crowd.  Excellent release, regardless, it has a dynamic control of beat that manages to keep stable in spite of this.  Liaros, in some ways, has collected the best of several genres and made something his own, a mammoth task in today's music.

 

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Written by Stanley Stepanic

Mobthrow – Unfolded
Ad Noiseam
4.5 / 5