VA: SALT002

A1 of Salt Mines’ newest EP Salt002 offers us with 92 Space Drum Orchestra’s track ‘Raw Bass Dub 1,’ straight from Amsterdam. Cutting, sporadic highs accompanied by a solid, resonating kick set the direction for the listener at the opening of the track. Synth pads fall in over the top of the rhythm producing a sense of patience, the atmospheric melodies saturate the aural landscape, yet remain content in the background. Lead synths fill the remaining space and gasp the listener’s attention with beautifully powerful melodies complemented by some equally substantial bass. ‘Raw Bass Dub 1’ is an emotive track, propelled by its ambitious use of percussion. The rhythm changes with a progressive consistently throughout the track, keeping the listener intrigued by anticipation of the unexpected.

A2 showcases TV.OUT’s talent with his track, ‘Always Anyways.’ This track produces strong feelings of serenity, focusing on a heavy use of synth pads like it’s predecessor. Unlike ‘Raw Bass Dub 1’s use of complicated rhythms, ‘Always Anyways’ keeps it simple with a steady 4/4 time signature throughout the whole track. The sound of the percussion is less intense, in turn captivating less of the listener’s attention. This allows for the melody to fill the void and increase its emphasis. Rolling bass further enables ‘Always Anyways’ to glide the listener into a dreamlike consciousness, coming together to produce a sound of warming euphoria.

Hymns – ‘Route Acid’ follows suit, coming in at B1 with a slightly more permissive kick drum than the earlier tracks. Similarly, the hi-hats harness a modest energy, flowing between on another with an effortless consistency. A double snare sounds at the end of each bar, encouraging a pleasant groove. Without hesitation a pad synth sounds for a few bars, then quickly drops away with just a moment of lingering reverberation. Although unexpected at first, the reasoning for this dramatic exit is quickly understood, as an acid synth loop takes its place at the forefront of our attention. Eventually the two lead synths come together and interweave their sounds, as if partaking in a playful wrestling match; each instrument jumping on any chance it sees to become the lead.

Finishing up the EP is my personal favourite, ‘4X5_83X2’ a high tempo creation from ‘Tuc’. Starting off with a single, pensive, melodic loop, ‘Tuc’ constructs a mystical atmosphere, prompting the listener to patiently await their journey ahead. With the introduction of the kick drum and some frenetic hi-hats, this seemingly un-mixable match of sounds is fashioned with such accuracy, that the end product is a fast paced, high intensity track that simultaneously indulges the listener into an emotive, trance-like state. However, this partnership doesn’t last forever; further into the track a different synth loop gradually earns our attention. Short, echoing bursts of abstruse melody sharpen the sound and help promote the percussion’s drive. Eventually everything is played together, developing a joyfully intoxicating radiance, in which the track is concluded.

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