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Point 5: "Baainar Boys EP"

img  Tobias

In „Momo“, Michael Ende's fantastical parable about time, the child protagonist is taught by a turtle how to escape her grey-suited, cigar-sucking pursuers by paradoxically running slower than them. Over the course of a long and winding career, Ende, whose oeuvre encompassed anything from novels to children's books, did not always hit the nail on the head, but he certainly had an astute perception of the workings of our inner clock: It is not society that defines how much time we have, but our own mind. Likewise, producer's collective Point 5 have decided to increase the intensity of their tunes by drastically decelerating and opening up their sonic spaces instead of aiming for tightness. If a regular club tune is like a nail-spiked whip, flagellating ravers into near-madness, then „Baainar Boys“ feels like the warm embrace of a slowdance, sweetly intoxicating the crowd with groove and harmony.

In a way, the South-Africa based Quintet's technique of creating music may seems all but naive. Linearly, their tracks unfold, occasionally opening out with nothing but a bass-drum and some solitary polyrhythmic percussion and then gradually adding more and more melodic elements. The lyricism and introvert nature of these pieces, which are lightyears away from the urban blues and 21st century isolationism of Techno, is striking: Dreamy sequencer lines are cascading upwards in galaxies of milk and honey, metronomic Piano chords are underpinning the music like a sleepy pulse playing Terry Riley's „In C“, vocal samples are shattering into breath and echo and insistent Strings are counterpointing the general sweetness with jagged movements. The influences of Point 5 appear to be extending far beyond stylistic borders and it is certainly no coincidence that some of these efforts, when stripped off the beats, sound  very much like early Ambient-works - perhaps Terre Thaemlitz was referring to releases like this, when he called for Deep House to return to its roots and consider itself a sound and an attitude rather than a solidified genre.

Accordingly, everything is lush, languid and sensual here, erotic almost in the way themes are intertwined with each other. Reverb is turning into a thematic element on opening tune „Feeling Dizzy“, in which an aquatic bass-drop is sending subsonic ripples through an ocean of emptiness and even more overtly on closer „Wild Forrest“, whose demonstrative bird sample seems to be mysteriously resounding through the utter darkness of the forlorn woods mentioned in its title. A mere spatial effect when listened to on headphones, it turns into a physical wave in the club, hitting you with the full force of friendly air. „Stay Longer“, meanwhile, takes this idea to its logical extreme, with the delays of a handful of motives segueing and overlapping like concentric circles caused by pebbles thrown into a pond. It is a conscious overkill, in which all concrete forms are purposefully drowned out to be replaced by a kaleidoscope of colours.

The result is hypnotic and unsettling, but also strangely familiar. „Baainar Boys“ feels equally unreal and weightless, like weightlessly swimming through transparent glue. You can almost see someone holding up a placard saying: „Slower, slower!“, as the music descends into a hazy vision of shakers, bongos and distantly pounding bassdrums. Some people will see this as a contradiction with the dancefloor-aspirations of this release. But as „Momo“ already impressively demonstrated, sometimes you can run a whole lot faster by slowing a great deal down.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Baainar Records

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