on 22 December 2013
The main reason why I'm giving this album full marks is the overall atmosphere of album remains amazingly consistent throughout. Even the album title and cover art adhere to this ambiance. The image of an alien spacecraft plummeting through the jet black emptiness of deep space, a frozen vapour trail expanding behind. The imagery mirrors the music. Icy synth lines, metallic clangs reverberating, bursts of sludgy or tubular bass and cocking guns breaking up the ominous hollow pads. Everything unnecessary is removed and what's left is refined and reduced. It's alien, futuristic stuff but still maintains enough elements common to it's genre to remain accessible. It's genre is quite difficult to pinpoint however. Indebted to grime and dubstep, but much more minimalistic and ambient, it falls in that vague category of UK bass or future garage (or vaguer still post-dubstep).
This album takes influences from a number of sources, and as has been pointed out by many before, it bears a striking resemblance to Jam City's Classical Curves, especially in terms of the timbres and techniques used (more so than even Jam City's more recent productions). However, Cold Mission is much more ambient and bare bones. There are no pounding beats, no funky hooks, and as the title implies, much less warmth. The drums are more disjointed, there is more space in between the beats, the silences are emphasised. Personally, I prefer Classical Curves, but I also generally prefer Night Slugs to Keysound, and to reference Harry Partch, the corporeal over the abstract.
I'd say that James Parker (Logos) is successful in achieving a very specific sound, and even though he displays his influences clearly, the album retains a contemporary sound. Still as a first full length release it is a quality effort and I hope Logos gets the chance to progress and refine his sound on a second LP.