Phoenix Music Online




Overall score 79


‘Silent Ascent’ is the third album from Barcelona duo Downliners Sekt. Yet its freshness feels like they’re starting from scratch – and they are more than happy about this. Although they describe the album as a ‘hymn to the dance floor’, this is electronica that encourages you to chill out and listen, rather than get up and boogie.

The opener ‘Soul Debris’ draws you in with its vinyl-esque crackle and pulsing beat. It’s a fitting intro to what’s coming, ending with an erratic heartbeat rhythm that gets under your skin. Track 2, ‘Silent Ascent’, brings quiet, syncopated beats that ebb and flow, giving a texture to the music which continues through the whole LP. Fans of Lemon Jelly and Air’s ‘Virgin Suicides’ will love this album, The experimental feel and mix of instrumental music, spoken word and unearthly cries all make you think as well as feel.

Downliners Sekt are Fabrizio Rizzin and Pere Solé, who have been quietly building their reputation amongst the electronic music scene since 2010. A series of EP releases led to them being signed by Parisian label Infiné in 2012. ‘Silent Ascent’ was mastered by renowned sound scientist Rashad Becker at Berlin’s Dubplates & Mastering. The duo believe that ‘the sound of these tracks is just as important as the music’, and this comes through in the meticulous arrangement and sculpting of each number. For me, this is the album’s weakness as well as its strength. Some simpler, raw tracks along the way would be a counterpoint to the highly produced nature of the others, and provide a few surprises on a musical journey that can feel a bit ‘samey’ as the album proceeds. The penultimate track ‘Once Mercurial’ would not be out of place on the dance floor, and more like this would be welcome. The short finale ‘Give Him Your Heart’ echoes the crackle and understated beat of the opening numbers. It eases you gently out of a good album – a few less chilled tracks would have made it excellent.

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