In March 2011, Consequence made his second album appearance on Exit Records with Joe Seven, as They Live: the duo’s ‘Cancel Standard’ was an immersive, sci-fi laced album that set the bar for the year rather high. Consequence decided to end 2011 with one more album, however: his long-awaited sophomore solo LP: ‘Test Dream.’
‘Test Dream’ is not for those who expect the next logical evolution of ‘Live For Never.’ It’s also not for the unadventurous, nor for those who seek easily digestible music. Creatively free, Consequence revels in pure electronic experimentation, and the result is an album that follows no rules, and explores fractal dimensions that defy conventional genres.
The downtempo compositions on the LP manage to hold the intensity and propelling urgency of high BPM electronic music, even though some of the tracks are relatively beatless. ‘Before I Go’ takes the listener to space and back, while ‘Can’t Say’ comes through with staggered synths and rugged drums, building an atmosphere where each sound tells a story. ‘Marlo’, meanwhile, is a welcome retreat from the tension built in its predecessors, with a reassuring melody, softly rhythmic snaps and handclaps, smooth vocals and warm pads. ‘Of Uncertainty’ reveals a slow beauty that builds with impeccable grace, adding colours, slowed vocals and tranquil atmospheres along the way.
Ever a many-faced producer, Consequence’s album takes a few forays into more haunting, cryptic territories. ‘Just Water’, filled with creepy effects and sinister samples, leaves the listener nothing short of on-edge, especially with a finale that sounds not much unlike C3PO being ripped to shreds. And ‘Magda Trench’ sounds like a video game that’s burning under a microscope, rendering fractured pixels into outer space.
Staying true to his roots, Consequence brings the album back through the tangles of the jungle, and voyages into heavier D&B landscapes. ‘Oden‘ and ‘Soul Sees Spirit’ feel slightly apocalyptic, with soaring ominous-filled synth builds and hard-hitting drums that will darken (and deepen) any dancefloor instantaneously.
There are many surprises tucked within, too, of course. ‘Re-occuring’ has ascending melodies that sound as though they could dance in a Giorgio Moroder universe: a transportive space-capade that gives an aural tour through a cluster of stars. Powered by a stuttered melody on a wavering synth line, ‘Lovershell’ is one for code-crackers: an intriguing ball of chaos that slowly starts to make sense as it comes together. The dub-drenched ‘Slant’ starts out mysterious in feel, takes a swift turn for anxiety and suddenly breaks into an enigmatic poem slowly recited in a sing-song manner.
‘Untitled’, with a yearning vocal that floats through an ambiguous atmosphere, closes the album on that typical Consequence note: with lines being tightrope-walked and left obliterated. ‘Test Dream’ grows and unfolds more with each listen, giving way to explorations of dense sound universes.
Release date: 19/12/2011
Format: 12" Vinyl x 3 + CD
Genre: Bass Music
Catalogue number: EXITLP010