Artist: Jay Epoch
Title: Particles: Episode One - Mono No Aware
Label: Proton Music
By: Jason Calvert | 25 January 2006
  • 0. Jay Epoch - Mono No Aware (DJ Mix)
  • 1. Austin Azua - This Feeling
  • 2. Darkarma - Genetic Memory
  • 3. Ray & Peter - Sonic Alchemy
  • 4. Gerwin Koudijs - Next Chapter
  • 5. CPM - Live Zone
  • 6. Derek Howell - Strung Up

Jay Epoch "Particles: Episode One - Mono No Aware"

Out Now on Proton Music

Proton Music welcome in 2006 with the launch of a new series called "Particles" mixed by label manager Jason Wohlstadter, otherwise known as Jay Epoch, host of the popular Particles show on Proton Radio. Episode one introduces some new players to the scene, as well as reinforcing the positions of some more seasoned producers. A variety of moods are covered, and the listener has the choice of listening to each track separately, or letting Jay take control behind the decks and mix them all together for you.

The first track is brought to us by a fresh name on the circuit, Austin Azua, who has been championed by the likes of Derek Howell and Opencloud. It surprises me that this is his first single, as the quality in the production gives some of the bigger names a run for their money. The bassline flows with laid-back ease as blissful piano melodies are layered in over the top. The track contrasts both deep and uplifting moods in a way which works magnificently, especially as an opening track. Tattoo the name of Austin Azua into your minds, and be sure to look out for his work in the future. I wouldn't be the first if I said that he has something very special going on.

Patrick Campbell under his Darkarma alias should be a familiar name to many. His ever changing style stems from his wide range of influences, and as such it is impossible to pigeonhole him into a specific genre. "Genetic Memory" keeps up the laid back feel of the previous track, but has a bit more of a driving force behind it with some tough breaks style percussion underlying it. The overall feeling is deep, with many twisted synths being layered with clever complexity.

Where the previous two tracks were intent in building emotion and setting the mood, this next outing from Ray & Peter is where things really get kicked off. In their traditionally stylish ways, they craft up "Sonic Alchemy", which takes a breaks route again, and fires some extremely tough synth lines and a massive bassline at us.

The next track however was an interesting choice to place where it is. The feeling from "Sonic Alchemy" is almost cut short, and we go back to a feel which is closer to "Genetic Memory". "Next Chapter" comes from another new face on the scene from Netherlands, Gerwin Koudijs. The track is well put together, and has some nice texture in the higher ranges, but I just get the feeling that it is a little out of place amongst the rest of the tracks. It just lacked the distinctive edge possessed by every other track on the release.

Not to worry however, as Christian Malloni under his guise of CPM quickly sets us back in the right direction. The most notable element of "Live Zone" is the lazy groove of the percussion. It possesses an almost natural feel to it, and is held together by a strong bass-guitar fuelled lower range. A sliced up and stuttered breakdown adds great interest and depth to the composition, and as it picks up again it was quite easy to see that this is CPM's finest track to date.

Save the best for last, as they say. However, nearly every other track is up on par with Mr. Howell here. "Strung Up" possesses all the qualities one has come to expect from Derek Howell, and more! Electro-influenced synths are juxtaposed against an immensely strong percussion line and bassline. As the chord progression strikes, the track oozes emotion and powerful intensity at the same time, ultimately taking out the EP with a bang, and a very big one at that!

A nice selection of tracks have been showcased here, and it is always great to see new and emerging talent being noticed. Hopefully future EPs will take a strong direction in showcasing upcoming talent, and if the tracks are of the same quality featured here, then we will have something tasty to look forward to!

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