Dark brooding atmospheres that build up to immense barrages of sound are then tempered by deft and hauntingly beautiful snatches of melodies played on a surprising array of instruments, while the drums and rhythmic elements pin the thing together with a combination of minute detail and the suggestion of a force and power that is really quite astounding.
[Listen | Purchase] Mobthrow’s self titled debut full length album is exactly that – an album. Not just an assembly of his latest and greatest tunes, but a really well considered collection of music with cohesion that moves along a path, taking the listener with it. Use of the word journey in reference to music has been much overused, but this album really does take you on one. Dark brooding atmospheres that build up to immense barrages of sound are then tempered by deft and hauntingly beautiful snatches of melodies played on a surprising array of instruments, while the drums and rhythmic elements pin the thing together with a combination of minute detail and the suggestion of a force and power that is really quite astounding. Whilst on the subject of the drums, I have to say the drums and rhythmic programming on this album are some of the best I’ve ever heard. Sitting amongst what is at times a very dense and complex soundscape, they are always perfectly arranged and mixed in a way that emits power and seems to cut through everything around, yet at the same time respecting the other elements around it and not swamping the tracks. A very rare skill indeed.
The man behind the Mobthrow project is composer, mastering engineer, sound designer and programmer Angelos Liaros. Originally from Greece but now residing in Holland, Liaros has found himself scoring adverts and films, running a mastering studio and writing patches for synthesisers among other things. It’s a wonder he has the time to write breathtaking full length albums too.
It’s hard to put this album into any musical category, but I suppose that’s what we expect from the best composers and producers in the field of electronic music these days. It is certainly what we have come to expect from releases on the Ad Noiseam label – who incidentally are ten years old this year – with artists like Enduser, Mothboy, Bong Ra and the irrepressible Igorrr all challenging listeners and genres alike with interesting, innovative and sometimes quite complicated (and a little bit difficult to listen to) music. Mobthrow gleefully steps up to the plate on this front, mesmerising the listener with film score type atmospheres and sound design, massive basses, pounding rhythms, field recordings and even the odd recognisable sample thrown in for good measure. There is real tension at times, I’ve had this album on repeat for over a week now, and with my headphones on I’m lost in a world generated and governed by this music. I’ve experienced sweaty palms and increased heart rates induced purely from the effects of this album, as well as more tranquil moments.
The musical range covered on this album is remarkably wide, from the eerie vocal enchantments of “The 3 Marks” to the tense driving percussion of “Iron Tribal” which sounds like the sound track to a high budget chase scene. Many of the tracks on this album are more personal then dance floor oriented, but “Street Breakz” for example would go down a storm in a hard edged Drum and Bass set. My personal favourite is the last track entitled “Alone In The Ruins,” a beautiful piece of music based on the vocals of Nina Simone’s “I’m Feeling Good.”
This is an album full of depth and complexity, a very well thought out work. I can only imagine the amount time spent on all the various elements to get the whole sounding the way it does. Mobthrow is one to watch out for, rocking a style that defies many of the conventions of his contemporaries, influenced by film scores, dance floors, jazz and IDM style micro-programming, this is a big sound. Essential listening!
This self-titled release is out now on Ad Noiseam. [Listen | Purchase]