REVIEW: Moment Sound Vol. 1

By Jake Guidry in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 22, 2010 6:00PM

2010_01_22_moment sound.jpg Chicago's Moment Sound label carries a unified ideology amongst its members: the sound of the moment. Its three founding artists, Slava, Garo and Lokua, make music that is about this moment, "the singularity at the center of the vortex that continuously propels us from the past into the future." Their aim is to transport the listener into a listening head-space free of "contextual baggage" so that we can connect and create "unique and personal relationship[s] with the music." While these self-proclamations are ambitious and weighty, to say the least, it's evident that such a fierce set of ideals has led to solid--and very promising--electronic music.

Moment Sound Vol. 1, set to release on vinyl in March, is a compilation--a quick glimpse into the label's music of the now. Slava, Garo and Lokua contribute a total of seven tracks, offering a little bit minimal, a dash of house, a pinch of electro, and just about everything in between that has come to comprise the IDM genre. One self-proclamation that rings especially true is that the album "is as much for the club as it is for the tranquil home-listening environment". A welcomed dynamic to be sure; the album is soft and approachable, yet carries weight as a legitimate go-to record in any electronic music DJ set.

Slava, Garo and Lokua each bring distinct-yet-harmonious sounds to the compilation, in turn flexing their muscles as good (and soon to be great) electronic musicians. Slava's opening track, "Anything" is the compilation's strongest and most club-ready work, exploring myriad soundscapes, burrowing deep into the depths of analog synth. Lokua's "Violence Jack" sounds like a B-side from The Running Man soundtrack, offering an arpeggiated Knight Rider synth and computerized drums characteristic of just about any 80s horror film ever made. Garo's "Steamship" is uptempo and a bit dubby, complete with a driving bass line and perfectly-placed warm, fuzzy synth notes.

Moment Sound Vol. 1 is a well-put-together compilation of what its musicians have to offer. Some tracks are very dynamic sonically and really do allow the listener to form a personal relationship with them. Others, unfortunately, reach an apex and then stagnate, falling into the realm of repetitive electronic music that has become one of the main criticisms of the form. However, the good far outweighs the not-so-good, placing Moment Sound at the top of Chicago's local electronic scene--for now.