Redshape – The Dance Paradox

January 9, 2010

Redshape - The Dance Paradox - Delsin Records (2009)

Redshape - The Dance Paradox - Delsin Records (2009)

Redshape operates from behind a red mask.

I get the basic idea. The artist remains anonymous and “lets the music do the talking” as Joe Perry once said.

On the other hand, one could argue that the red mask actually serves to accomplish the opposite goal, since it gives rise to endless internet chatter about who the artist “really is.” And it’s kind of redundant, too, since particularly among those who create electronic dance music, anonymity comes almost naturally even without any masks: truth is, with the sole exception of Ricardo Villalobos and maybe Ellen Allien, all but the most avid fans would probably walk right by without recognizing anyone on the Beatport or Resident Advisor charts.

Still, this issue of artistic statement versus gimmick — maybe that’s “The Dance Paradox” to which the album title refers — mostly seems besides the point once you listen to this lp by Redshape, which came out late last year. Because this is really excellent techno.

Indeed, all of the classic elements are here. Multi-layered percussion, soaring synths, mysterious crackle and hiss thrown in for good effect. But though each of the eight tracks on this album has its own unique feel, all of them bring those classic elements together in what seems like just the right way, to create a very strong work through and through. And all eight tracks are posted, by the way, on Redshape’s myspace page.

My only small complaint about “The Dance Paradox” is that the 8-minute track “Bound (Part 1 & 2)” has a Carl Craig-meets-Giorgio Moroder sound to it that could have used, as its finishing touch, a wordless vocal performance of the kind once delivered by Donna Summer. But maybe Redshape’s saving that trick for his next album. Let’s hope so ….


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