Some of you may already know who Frustra is, for those who don’t this LP is a perfect gateway into his unique style of musical composition and sound design.
The first track of the LP entitled “Vice Impala” opens the album perfectly, with a dark rolling sub paired with detuned bass stabs accompanied by glitchy ambience starting the track off with a heavy feel. The track then takes a shift away from darker techno vibes with the introduction of retro-sounding electric piano chords. Overall this track is a perfect balance of dark, techno vibes paired with house grooves. Definitely a personal favourite of mine of the album.
Love Without Loss
The second track “Love Without Loss” begins by instantly capturing the listener’s attention with large chords and drums that sound like they were recorded in a garage. The track breaks down to a dreamy soundscape with a pitched down vocal. The minimalistic first drop allows the track to later build to a syncopated dance groove where the gritty textures of the synths and pads contrast nicely with the dreamy feel of the track. Overall this track is just oozing with deep vibes akin to Disclosure, and the chord voicings remind me of early Kaskade tracks.
The third track “Garafraxa” surpasses the last track in terms of ambience and grit, opening with an ethereal female vocal, progressing to an off-beat 2-step rhythm structure. The track drops almost unexpectedly, which adds to the effectiveness of the unsettling feeling detuned bass line. This track then completely shifts gears, breaking down to a huge 4 to the floor B-section progressing back to elements from the introduction. The track then returns to the familiarly unsettling A-section accompanied by even more syncopated rhythmic elements and pluck synths that will send chills down your spine with their dissonance.
Unlike the other tracks on the LP, Faults is very experimental. It serves the purpose as to bridge the two halves of the album together. Not many albums have that track that you stumble upon while playing end to end that ties themes together, this track serves that purpose perfectly, adding to the storytelling element of the Requiem LP.
As the title infers, this track is hard hitting, abrasive, and in your face. Unlike the deeper, more subdued tracks in the first half of the LP, this track is an Electro banger. The sounds and textures used are aggressive and filled with tension and musical angst. It’s difficult to make a heavy track sound good, but Frustra nailed it on this one. Listen to it, enjoy it, just don’t hurt anybody or break anything expensive in the process.
Imperfections returns to a familiar Tech-house vibe, with a bit more bite than the tracks off the first half of the LP. The fat, in-your-face square-wave bass punches through the speakers beautifully while the sizzle of the open hats create syncopation further complimenting the groove of the bassline. This track showcases tech-house grooves and basslines at their finest with a perfect balance of finesse, and aggression Frustra’s electro textures suit perfectly to make “Imperfections” stand out as “not just another tech-house track”.
Talk About it
Completely out of left field comes “Talk About It”. A vocal-driven R&B/Minimal dubstep track akin to early 2008 UK bass music. This track is completely different than any of Frustra’s previous works, serving to showcase his skill as a multi-genre artist. And he pulled it off perfectly. Listen to it, you’ll see what I mean.
Closing of the album is the title track “Requiem”. An abrasive yet minimal tech-house track. The huge bass stabs and textures further solidify the point that Frustra is a proficient deep/tech house producer. The ethereal breakdown paired with unsettling siren and vocal chops serve to build tension until the climax of the track at the 2nd drop, returning to the A-section with the original bassline accompanied by additional syncopated 2-step hats. This track is a perfect denouement of the album, ending the story of the Requiem LP.
Purchase the album off of Frustra’s own label, THINKTANK Sounds’ Bandcamp! https://thinktanksound.bandcamp.com/
Brayden Maxwell- Editor in Chief