The new album from Christelle Gualdi (AKA Stellar OM Source) entitled Joy One Mile is one that defies categorisation. It would be difficult to classify the album solely as techno in the traditional sense, as Gualdi's knack for programming and harmonic abstraction push the album into the realm of the experimental. This being said, most of the tracks do rely on steady rhythms to propel them forward, which places the album into a grey area between conventional dance and the avant-garde.
Joy One Mile (Preview) - Stellar Om Source [RVNG Internationl]
'Polarity' opens the album with a mixture of percussive elements and a throbbing bass synth. Kick drums chop in and out throughout the track, giving the track a wobbly unsteadiness, a theme that recurs throughout the album. 'Par Amour' then follows with its rave like synth stabs and a vocal that sounds like it could be from an old Inner City track. The heavy use of 909 and 303 sounds on this album nod to classic Detriot techno, as well as Chicago acid, but these elements are mutated through the abstractions in programming. 'The Range' provides listeners with what appears to be Gualdi's take on contemporary bass music, whilst 'Trackers' is a study in hyper synth arpeggio that eventually gives way to cool pads and 303 sounds towards the end of the record.
The single from album 'Elite Excel' stands to demonstrate the concept of the album best, constantly morphing, twisting and is really several small compositions in one track. 'Fascination' begins with an airy, cosmic synth line and a few percussive elements, before it gives way to a heavy, albeit stuttery, 4/4 bass kick. Almost every track on the album has some kind of redeeming quality, and also serves to push our own perceptions of what is and isn't right for use on the dance floor.
It should be noted that Gunnar Wendel (AKA Kassem Mosse) was a collaborator on the album and his remix of Elite Excel is included on the CD / digital version. If you decide to pick up the vinyl, which you can do from Juno, then it's advised you download the Kassem remix via the code included with the release.
2. Par Amour
3. The Range
5. Elite Excel
7. Natives / Most Answers Never Unveiled
8. Elite Excel (Kassem Mosse Remix) (Bonus Track)
Digital is available for download from Bandcamp.