Full Circle – Contra Scandal | Album Review

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Tracing list

Miles of High Life
Snake Enchanter
Difficult Way (v. Spira)
Full Circle
Perennial Light
Miles of High Life

One of the best things about the past twelve months has been the abundance of new music from artists seeking refuge in their homeland. With no place to go, lots of time to think, and many regular listeners, many artists have moved from DJing to producing music.

Full Circle is thus a very impressive showcase of talent; an album that combines elements of bass, rap and breakbeat into a unique musical journey that jumps effortlessly between genres.

From start to finish, Full Circle is a joy to listen to, and the shifting balance between sweeping bass grooves and interesting instrumentals and vocal samples works on this 10 track EP.

These samples in particular are excellent, with mischievous string sounds in Mile High Livin, raindrops in The Remaining Light, and big brass in Hard Way, constantly blending through the album.

This really helps to avoid that stagnation and keep the feeling of freshness throughout the circle. This is always the hardest part of albums like this, and it’s something that many artists across the dance music spectrum fall into. Whether it’s techno, house, drum and bass or even psy-trance, many artists’ albums tend to use the same sonic or compositional techniques, and eventually it becomes too uniform.

Full Circle seems to be aware of this problem and deliberately changes the compositional tricks on each track. The breaks and subsequent crescendos occur throughout the album, while a brand new sample or sudden key change between tracks only adds to the experience. It’s subtle and few people will notice, but this is an album made with one question in mind: How can I improve this number?

I’ve mentioned that this is a musical journey, and one of the most literal examples of that is The Call, which takes the listener through the redwoods of Kings Mountain in California.

This song is indeed interesting – and perhaps the most polarized on the album. The song alternates between heavy bass, guitar riffs and a vocal sample that sounds like it comes from a pop rock record. The result is a piece that sounds strange, a little over the top, and fails to control the end result.

Personally, I think this track would have worked better without such a heavy dose of bass, but since my own studio skills are limited to fruity loops and very simple piano work, you should take this review with a grain of salt!

Honestly, Contra Scandal made a pretty unique album here. It is a showcase of compositional talent that deserves to be highlighted. When you’re done, don’t be surprised if you close the loop and listen to the album again.

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