A follow-up to his The Intergalactic Slapstick full-length, the Steel Trap EP has Liquid Stranger (aka Martin Stääf) putting the emphasis back on to the dub in dub-step.

LiquidStrangeSteelTrapIt really is in the balance between the two where Liquid Stranger excels. Steel Trap EP, featuring two remixes and three new tracks, cleanly blends plenty of old school effects and samples with all the heavy-weight woofer dub-step can offer. The bass-centric clarity and originality of his mixes are what’s earning Liquid Stranger the Mad Professor comparisons, and likewise through all the low frequency force, found in serious amplitude in “Aftershock,” Steel Trap’s reggae roots are what remain front and centre – the mainstay in fact of “Deep Down Below” and “Rough Road.” The EP wraps up with an ethno-ambient number “Sincerely Yours,” which while gorgeous downtempo comes out of nowhere and succeeds in mostly reminding us this is an Interchill release.

by Romina Wendell
(originally published in Exclaim)


Ambient Not Ambient – Compilation Review

So which is it you might ask. Well, no more just background for new age shops or bedtime treats for ravers, under the beat-less direction of Paul Dickow and E*Rock, ambient music merges with sound art to showcase of Portland’s homegrown bliss pop talent. Featuring a sonic wash of tracks from indie artists such as Yellow Swans, Lucky Dragons and White Rainbow, the near beat-free soundscape, broken only by the fuzzed-out minimal techno of AM/PM’s “Even As We Are” and brief cut up groove of Freeform’s “Aunt Meridian,” seems at times more suited to art installation than home listening. Most likely chalked up as spaced-out sound collage by the average ambient fan, experimental music lovers will appreciate the thick soup of disembodied samples, digitally processed drones and minimal melodic and overly moody interludes.
Audio Dregs
by Romina Wendell (first published in Exclaim Magazine)