Monday, October 09, 2006

AS ONE: Planetary Folklore 2 (Archive)

AS ONE
Planetary Folklore 2
CDDPU1128
Archive 2006
08 Tracks. 40mins28secs





Kirk DeGiorgio

Undoubtedly one of the most influential artists of his generation, Kirk Degiorgio is responsible for partly shaping the musical landscape of the nineties with a multitude of projects reflecting the widening spectrum of the genre over the years. With one foot rooted in seventies soul and funk and the other in Detroit techno, Kirk's work as encompassed a wide variety of styles, from jazz, funk, electro and classic techno to hip-hop and ambient, to create a compelling collection of elegant electronic music.

Born in the late sixties in East London, Degiorgio spent his formative years harvesting as much music as he could, but it is when an aunt gave him all her soul and funk seven inch singles that he began building what would become the backbone of his work. Consequently, he scoured the airwaves in search of black music radio shows, recording whatever he could. The next logical step was taken when he hit the club scene in the early eighties.

His first couple of releases appeared on B12 Records in 1991, and he rapidly gained interest from other labels, including R&S, New Electronica and Planet E, leading to the release of countless EPs, and later his first full-length album, Reflections, under his As One moniker. It is around the same time that he set up his Applied Rhythmic Technology, or ART for short, imprint, soon followed with another, OPART, releasing some of his own work as well as that of friends such as B12, The Black Dog or Gescom.

Almost ten years on from the first Planetary Folklore voyage, released on the now defunct Mo'Wax, Degiorgio re-arms his gun and deliver another slice of fine classic electronica tempered with elements of jazz and soul. Very much in the tradition of previous work, Planetary Folklore 2 combines impeccable soundscapes, groovy rhythmic sections and elegant atmospheres. While reminiscent of early Warp/ART/Rephlex times, this album also feels fresh and modern thanks to Degiorgio's uncompromising approach. Melodies drip lusciously from rich organic backdrops while intricate beat sequences snake their way through dense sound clouds to serve Degiorgio's aim. The wonderful Geranium harks back to a time when bleeps were de rigeur, whilst It's All Turning Blue or Irradiant wouldn't have gone amiss on a Black Dog Productions release. Elsewhere, Degiorgio injects some discreet jazz vibes into Blueshift and To See With Your Eyes, giving each track a particular relief by rendering the grain of the drums in exquisite shades. To complete the tableau, the moody Seyfert's Sextet and I Used To Live Here (Pts. 1 & 2) give this album a slightly more melancholic turn and contribute to reveal part of its emotional scope.

This second Planetary Folklore offering is only remotely related to its predecessor. If Degiorgio applies here a vaguely similar template to that used on the 1997 album, this new opus manages to flourish all by itself and feels as a piece of work in its own right. Here, Degiorgio continues to refine his sound and feed on a wide array of influences to create yet another magnificent record.

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