thu 15/04/2021

CD: Rodion – Generator | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Rodion – Generator

CD: Rodion – Generator

An intoxicating blend of dancefloor grooves and infectious musicality from the Italian producer

"Just let those bees try it on now!"

Before the resurgence in vinyl, and the resultant pursuit of audiophile perfection on pointlessly expensive sound systems, was the musician’s fetish for vintage equipment and analogue synths. Live, this makes sense: sounds go direct into the audience's ear, air its only conduit.

Before the resurgence in vinyl, and the resultant pursuit of audiophile perfection on pointlessly expensive sound systems, was the musician’s fetish for vintage equipment and analogue synths. Live, this makes sense: sounds go direct into the audience's ear, air its only conduit. After the painstaking pathway that most recorded music has to take – downloaded onto a phone and compressed to flux through headphones made entirely out of snidely weighted plastic reputations – you wonder why they’d bother.

Generator, the second album from Berlin-based producer Rodion, shows exactly why, boasting a sound so warm and involving it’s like a big hug from a friend on a dancefloor at 5am. After a slew of singles and remixes on a host of labels, culminating in a wonderfully creative partnership with Mammarella for Ivan Smagghe’s Les Disques De La Mort last year, Rodion decamped to Telecinesound, the oldest vintage recording studio in Rome and, by the sounds of it, used just about everything he could lay his hands on.

The result is 10 tracks, of which three are little amuses bouche – sonic sorbet to cleanse the palette between the italo-flecked, slow-mo disco grooves and fluid electronic funk. Of these, outer space lullaby “Colazione” is the one with the popping candy in it and could definitely bear extension. It’s like Raymond Scott with all the edges pleasingly burred.

As for the main tracks, well… Things start promisingly with the slow arpeggiated lilt of opener “Phobos”, which tilts its hip to the Nordic funk of Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas while retaining clean, mid-European lines. It’s a powerful opening salvo and sets the blueprint for much of what is to come, including the playful whimsy of “Bosphorus Hippies”, during which endless undulation whips us into a whirlpool before gently casting us adrift.

Throughout the other highlights, of which there are many – “Alle der Kosmonauten”, “Gamma”, “Run-Out” – Rodion and his band fill space in a phenomenally satisfying way. These are dense pieces full of erudite musicality, where ideas arrive seamlessly as if mixed in by a DJ's hand. That on its own would be clever enough, but when married to tunes as immediately infectious as this … well, it’s quite the intoxicant.

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