I've been a fan of Liquid Stranger for a while. He is quite a mysterious character. hailing from Sweden, he claims to have little interest in listening to music, aside from his own presumably, and that his main influence is the music from early computer games. In his early works you could hear this clearly but his albums managed to cram in styles such as ambient, jazz, dubstep, psychedelica, reggae, dub, and dancehall.
|The Private Riot|
His previous two albums, The Private Riot and Mechanoid Meltdown, were almost masterclasses in dubstep. They were both powerful, clean and very tightly produced albums that set very high standards for other dubstep producers to follow. However, his two albums previous to these were more of a dub affair and this is the direction that The Arcane Terrain has returned to.
There is a touch of the Liquid Stranger dubstep sound on this though. The production, is incredibly clear and precise, as good dance music should be and all of Liquid Stranger's releases are. It is slightly heavier than the earlier dub albums, undoubtedly a sign of the dubstep influence seeping through.
In fact, this sounds remarkably like a perfect crossover of his dub sound and that of The Private Riot with the driving and dirty basslines swelling and wobbling, and the heavy and tight drum punching through the mix, both fitting perfectly with the psychedelic sounds swirling around in the background.
|The Intergalatic Slapstick, of Liquid |
Stranger's dub albums
The second track features some deep and dancehall-esque vocals coming in when the elastic bass cuts out. The mix on this track is so spacious and tight, it really shows off Liquid Stranger's style and skills in making an absolutely banging track with multiple influences and polishing it in to one of the most pleasurable listening experiences you can have, like sweet candy for the ears.
The seventh track, Totem, starts off with some kind of Asian sounding flute before the track goes completely bhangra, Liquid Stranger style of course. The female vocals throughout are beautiful, again the incredible production making everything stand out and shine.
The influences continue to come, quite often in Asian flavours, but all the time fitting well with the dub, dubstep and psychedelic framework. Liquid Stranger seems to be heading in the right direction and getting stronger all the time. This album makes me think of artists such as Shpongle, Infected Mushroom, Ott, Hallucinogen (the dub remixes album) and Younger Brother.
I can't recommend this enough, it has some of the finest dub and dubstep I've heard in a long time. I didn't think Liquid Stranger could top The Private Riot but I think he has done it with The Arcane Terrain . A true masterpiece and a modern classic in my opinion.