The Valley And The Mountain ‎– Black Planet

4 out of 5

Label: WéMè Records

Produced by: The Valley and The Mountain (?)

Some excellent sci-fi landscaped slippery techno, telling a grooving tale of exploration across six (+1 intro) tracks.

The organic beats and futurism clearly make this a Detroit-inspired release, but TVTM doesn’t come across as just mimicking the style: layers of keys and funky drums bubble in and out in an edgy, inspired fashion, with effects that add to the story-telling expertly sprinkled about, giving each track (and the EP) its own unique, forward-leaning – if indebted to the past – sound.

The A-side and opening track on B feel a pretty adventurous and quirky, befitting namedropping Marvin Gaye in press releases, with the other sounds-like referenced – Tangerine Dream – coming to the fore on closing tracks Spatium and Black Planet, perhaps as we get deeper and into more dangerous realms with our planetary exploring.

The only thing the experience is really lacking is a strong close to the tale.  The intro track does a good job of “landing” us on the planet, and it’s not exactly clear where we’re intended to have ended up as the last track finishes.  But maybe all that means is more reason to put the EP on again, which you’ll be very likely to do…