Shockwaves of speedy, spacious guitar rush out in an intense blaze as the opening seconds of EP#2 play out, and from this point on the pulse never loses slack. Almeeva himself asks us to “never lose the pulse”, and as the rhythms accelerate along a sizzling rollercoaster of a ride, there isn’t a second thought – or even a slim chance – of this ever happening. There is no escape once we aim and lock onto the energetic rhythm. Progressive in sound, it calls to mind memories of an aged clubber’s paradise, a reminiscence of the Saturday nights spent underneath the luminous glare and heaving, misty fog of a Spanish dancefloor that always induced a halcyon clarity and a deep hypnosis under the strobe lighting. And now, the drop…
Almeeva skirts the curves of predictability at a searing pace, and while at this pace some predictability is required to see just far enough ahead of the road, Almeeva’s music is refreshingly free; something that cannot always be said with music fronting a dominating beat. The beat never feels constricted; instead, it unleashes dazed melodies infused with a frenetic, fiery fretboard. EP#2 blurs the lines between post-rock, progressive trance and minimal, ambient techno; it is all of these things and none of them.
“Strobe“, and its electric guitars drenched in a slick reverb, sets the tone perfectly. As the avalanche of heavy bass hits, streams of tremolo-picked guitar send pulses slipping and sliding over the fretboard, flowing along the arteries and circulating a pounding rhythm with a ravenous intensity. “Bend” surrounds itself in the shark infested waters of string skipping, the irregular, bouncy intervals making a refreshing contrast to the eternal beat; the clean tones of electric strings and eclectic dreams rub a burning friction against the pinpoint accuracy. Emerging synths add a colour to the kicking beat, speeding past at 130 bpm. There’s no let up, but there’s almost too much happening to really consider it minimal music.
The music brings back those transcendental buildups and breakdowns that shone like the famous beach sunsets on Ibiza. EP#2 has its transcendental moments, reflected on “Fields”, as a beautifully layered, glistening harmony shines a new sunset. EP#2 wouldn’t sound too out of place played as part of a progressive trance set, full of hands-in-the-air euphoric highs.
Losing the pulse may be a temptation as the splashes of reverb puncture the air, but the beat goes on. Almeeva’s music is also remarkably poised; upright but still pulsing the airwaves long into the night. Almeeva also knows that the repetition favours the length of an EP. The coda’s chimes of “Snow” ring out the chilled nature of the early morning and the promise of an afterparty. If it lost the beat, the track would surely slide into post-rock. The introduction of vocals towards the end is another pulse all of itself, and closes out the set as the sunrise flirts with the horizon.
It’s music born into a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle and raised on the White Isle. (James Catchpole)