Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ubik - Substance

Hear The Track Here

Behind that shiny new name lies an old(er) MP3 Unsigned face. Certainly if you know of the name Planet Dust, then this artist will already be well known to you. I have reviewed a couple of PD tracks before but I think I must ahve lost those reviews somewhere because I can't lay my hand on them right now. The last track I did find (Sleep/Dream - August 2005) I liked as a peice of electronic ambient that doesn't really appeal to me UNLESS it has that little something extra. Sleep/Dream did in it's choice of instrumentation and it's willingness to snooze on the job. About what you would expect from the genre although - as I stated at the time - should probably only be used as a nightcap.

That track can still be found on the page link above as well as about 10 other including Substance. All of which are pretty much hardcore electronica tracks so it goes without saying that it will only appeal to people who can't get enough of that stuff. Personally, I can take it or leave it. It has to be a pretty efficient, interesting and yes innovative track for me to work up a head of steam about and Substance isn't that. Or rather, it isn't different enough to make me want to hang on to it, and therein lies the rub for most electronica artists. As good a track as Substance is (it is, the production is neat and again the instrumentation used shows some taste and discernment) it just doesn't step out of the genre enough to appeal to a wider audience and - despite all claims to the contrary - the electronica genre is nothing like as big or as popular as most people seem to think.
There again, Ubik isn't making this music to be a big pop star, just to please himself and - hopefully - some of his friends. It will do that, I have no doubt and judging by the comments on the track it has been extremely well recieved. To my ears though, this was fairly run of the mill stuff, nothing there that would grab hold of your ears or raise the track above the ever widening roster of electronica artists. Sure, it's a given that most other electronica artists would like it, but they are not what I would call an 'audience' by any stretch of the imagination. Substance is a decently put together, instrumentally interesting track that has some neat technical tricks attached to it but little that would be outside of the envelope marked 'normal'. Also at six minutes long it could IMHO do with having at least a minute shaved off it. Maybe that would give it more impact but I somehow doubt that. An album filler maybe, not a floor filler.

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