Aquatica: Electronic Sounds from the Silicon Hills
Reviewed by Marc Savlov, Fri., Sept. 29, 2000
Aquatica: Electronic Sounds from the Silicon HillsAquatica co-founder Brent Bruning fêted the release of this 13-track Texas comp a few months back, declaring it one of the best electronica mixes around, indie or otherwise. Sure, the man behind Austin's suddenly all-wet electronica scene is going to knock kudos his own way, but the amazing thing is that it isn't bragging. While the vast majority of major- label electronica releases these days contain a scant two or three fully happening tracks, there's nary a droner amongst Bruning's bunch, covering most of the bases from lo-pumping quasi-house to Govinda's Middle Eastern-flavored closer, "Ode to Hildegarde." In between, there's gobs of skittery breakbeats (Phase, Flyover) and some stuttery techno (Release) that puts you in mind of Germany's old-skool Tresor label/club. Of course, the best thing about a local comp like this is that it finally drives a Technics 1200-style stake through the naysayers too flamboyantly cool to acknowledge the burgeoning Central Texas scene. Clearly there's more going on in the basements and back bedrooms of Austin and regional environs that just doesn't make it into local music bins. The hyperglycemic sugar rush of candy-coated bass and staccato breaks are what Bruning and his crew capture here, and amazingly none of it comes from NYC or even the sandy Goan shores. Austin in the house.