Tuesday, July 02, 2024

Optimal - Rolling Stock [Rope Worm 003]

Released via the Warsaw-based Rope Worm label on June 14th, 2k24 as their cat.no. 003 is Rolling Stock, the first full length CD album by Polish producer Pawel Starzec a.k.a. Optimal which not only marks the first non-reissue on the label but also its first venture into the beat-laden lands of what is described in the accompanying press sheet as a mixture and blend of Drum'n'Bass, Breakcore and Illbient - genres that always held a special place in our hearts anyway. From the very beginning of this thirteen tracks spanning journey rolled out over a total playtime of 56 minutes we're entering a realm of heavy, slightly washed out and highly atmospheric Drum'n'Bass x DarkJungle reminiscent of classic underground labels like Penny Black, Fear Records or Jungle Voodoo Recordings which immediately come to mind within seconds after the opening cut "No Future Yes Past" started whereas the subsequent "Get Paranoid" incorporates elastic Tribal elements as well as subdued 4-2-the-floor bassdrums in its overall aesthetics and "Chemical Warfare" takes us all the way back to early releases by the likes of Alec Empire on labels like Riot Beats or Sonic Subjunkies on Digital Hardcore Recordings. With these three opening track setting the pace for things to come cuts like the beatless "Please Let Me Sleep" explore eerie Cold Ambient atmospheres of a space-faring future followed by the brutal, yet surprisingly slow Breakcore x DarkJungle of "Take Care Of The Machine" which suggests that this care-taking might be executed in some kind of ultraviolent and revolution sparking manner which is even topped by the peak-time amen choppage provided by the title track "Rolling Stock" whereas "5AM " brings forth heavy Illbient Phonk for fans and followers of classic projects like Techno Animal or Saoulaterre, the "Snare Buzz" seems to be leaning more towards rumbling, bass-heavy ElectroPhonk mutations and the final cut "Methylphenidate" digs deep into raw unprocessed Industrial Sci-Fi Drum'n'Bass for a closing just to name a few. That's one excellent album which evokes a lot of great musical memories for us. Get!


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