Alex Barck ‘Reunion’


Alex Barck – Reunion

CD – Digital

Sonar Kollektiv – Released October 2013


The last time we encountered Jazzanova’s Alex Barck in long form it was on the unarguably impressive collaborative album he produced with Truby Trio’s Christian Prommer, Alex & The Grizzly, in 2011. One of our Choice Cuts back then, it’s reassuring to find the producer back on high calibre form on his latest solo LP.

Opening with the melancholic downtempo Doubter, featuring the soaring vocals of Jonatan Backelie, it’s not too long before things take a turn for the warmer and more upbeat. Oh Africa, for example, featuring Christine Salem’s tribalistic lyricism, takes in elements of dubstep and broken dance whilst ensuring our focus remains on the looped and layered vocals that dominate the melodic range. In turn this falls into the punchy naturalistic house music of Atmosphere, by which point it’s highly likely any ears listening will be fully sold on the package.

The remainder of the record doesn’t let the side down either. Automatique Systematic, a sample-driven plodding slo-mo four four number that seems to have been inspired by the Grease script, amongst other things, is a soulful, hypnotic outing that wouldn’t sound out of place as a Kompakt Records B-side. Meanwhile, fans of Playgroup and Black Affair will find much to relish in here too, not least with work such as Like A Drug, nodding as it does to funk and disco . All in all then a thoroughly accomplished collection of work that refuses to adhere to genre conventions or blueprints, and instead acts as a celebration of quality electronic music in the purest sense- without the restrictive boundaries imposed by canons- resulting in a genuine delight from start to finish.