Album: TRANSIENT – Symphony of Curves (Noisy Vagabond 038 2009)


Here’s an excellent freebie. Transient is a guy called Carl Martin who’s been a prolific producer of breakbeat, instrumental hip hop and downtempo material since the beginning of the decade. Symphony of Curves is his latest collection, and it’s a little cracker.

This is sample-heavy breaks music of the kind that would have fit snugly on Ninja tune or Grand Central. It’s comfortably familiar stuff, but eclectic and skilfully put together, brimming with bits of old records that leave you thinking “damn, I know that from somewhere”, but seldom working out from where. I think the only one I’m confident that I pinned down is the Contours on “Shake ’em Down”, but I’m certain I know the clarinet loop on “Organic”.

Symphony of Curves is more than just a mere game of spot-the sample. Martin is a natural, and some of these tunes are real gems that stick in the head after just one or two listens. “Organic” and “Lazy Groove” both have a fuzzy mellow feel that’s pure summer bliss. Best of the lot is “Faded Embrace”. It’s a sweet ‘n’ sad electronica piece, with vocoder vocals that are pure Air. Only it’s a lot stronger than anything they’ve done for years. A real beaut.

“Take a Trip and Never Leave the Farm” is a bit of hayseed country and western shit that’s funny once, but gets a bit irritating after a few listens. Still, it’s only a minute and a half long, and is the only low point on an otherwise accomplished and very enjoyable set.

It can be downloaded from either of the sites below.

1. You and Me 4:04
2. Shake ’em Down 3:03
3. Lazy Groove 2:58
4. Downtime 3:04
5. Faded Embrace 4:37
6. Ain’t No Cure For the Way You Walk 4:30
7. Organic 4:18
8. Take a Trip and Never Leave the Farm 1:31
9. In Too Deep 3:40
10. Class 1:22



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