LOGISTICS 'HOLOGRAM' - REVIEW
Hologram is Logistics’ (aka Matt Gresham’s) eighth studio album, which dropped on Hospital Records on 30 March 2018. According to Discogs, Logistics’ first release on Hospital was way back in 2004, which highlights his status as an experienced and longstanding contributor to Tony Colman’s esteemed outfit. Over the years Logistics has produced some of my favourite tracks in the liquid funk genre, such as the mesmerising ‘Together’, and also ‘Transcending’, another fantastic track featuring unique sounds which are hard to pinpoint exactly in terms of genre. Indeed, Logistics’ diversity when in the studio is reflected in his ability to churn out other tracks in a variety of styles. Good examples of this include: the jump up influenced ‘Your Time’ and the Jungle influenced 'Ammunition' featuring MC Inja. But enough about his past offerings, let’s delve into his new 16 track LP.
The album kicks off with ‘Lotus Flower,’ a highly atmospheric number. This track has a fabulous quiet to loud transfer from the build up to the the drop, which features gorgeous sub-bass. This matches up well with processed break beats. In the background you can hear the sped up sound of the ‘Think’ break which comes from a Lynn Collins track of the same name. The vocal sample doesn’t dominate in this one and instead complements the benign character of the track well. The album starts off in strong fashion.
Continuing on this deep liquid vibe, the third track’s called ‘Broken Light.’ This is a highly similar tune to ‘Lotus Flower,’ in many ways. A slightly more pronounced build which is topped off by jazzy piano keys and rich subs. The vocals are a bit more pronounced in this one too, which are provided by Thomas Oliver, but they don’t overwhelm the track and certainly don’t distract from the variety of the beat and the texture of the pads. The quality of the mix down is striking.
A stand out for me is ‘Inemuri,’ this is one for the tech heads. The kick’s tight, the snare cuts through well, and the bass reverberates via powerful stabs. This is definitely one to be appreciated on a proper sound system. Not only is the track itself different to many of the others in that it doesn’t feature vocals, the choice of the title is quite curious. ‘Inemuri,’ refers to the idea of being present whilst asleep and naturally points to Japanese culture in the wake of their spectacular post-war economic take off. Sleeping on trains in Japan is said to be the sign of a hard worker. The title could therefore refer to late night studio sessions! Although, to be a bit more abstract, the track, and indeed album, do have a rather dreamy feel.
The other main sound that’s thrown into the mix reflects Logistics’ jungle influences. Three tracks in particular encapsulate this: ‘Chant,’ the title track ‘Hologram,’ and finally the penultimate track ‘In Your Eyes.’ It’s important that Logistics provided us with this variety to meet the challenge of writing purely drum & bass albums. It needs to be an interesting thing to listen to from start to finish. Indeed, Logistics really has mastered the jungle/liquid blend, and has incorporated the most desirable features of both: atmospheric tones, break-beats, and sub-bass.
All in all, Logistics has lived up to his reputation as an accomplished drum & bass producer. The album starts off with mellow liquid, vocal-style tracks, and then moves back and forth between the boundaries of liquid and jungle. My only slight criticism is that some of the liquid tracks are a bit too similar to ‘Lotus Flower’ and ‘Broken Light.’ The tracks ‘Heatwave,’ ‘Been Dreaming,’ and ‘Hayling’ are, in my opinion, not as memorable. Nevertheless, this is an album that’s perfect for both home listening and the dance floor. Meanwhile, I will definitely be drawing for ‘Inemuri,’ in my sets!
9th April 2018
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