Amir Alexander ‎– Love & Fear

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Anunnaki Cartel ‎– AC007
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2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Gatefold Sleeve
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Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
AC007 Amir Alexander Love & Fear(2xLP, Album, Promo, W/Lbl) Anunnaki Cartel AC007 Netherlands 2015 Sell This Version

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Genshji

Genshji

October 4, 2015

This is what I would call a "grown up" album, techno performed and meant in a way that uses selfcontrol as a feeling of positive tension. Very best album in the detroit techno vein for 2015's election. That last track deserves its stilted title, best sound to word translation imho.
SubwaxBcn

SubwaxBcn

September 21, 2015

Amir Alexander has been around for quite a while (with more than a handful of inspired releases not only on his own imprints Vanguard Sound! and Anunnaki Cartel but also on Secretsundaze, Finale Sessions and Plan B Recordings (to name the big ones) celebrating underground Chicago and Detroit sounds) it’s a bit of a surprise that “Love & Fear” is actually the first album he’s ever released. As for me the album format still is way more than just some more single tracks collected and all about the gesamtkunstwerk thing, I was curious about how Alexander would deal with it and, to leak the result, he did very very well (See also what Mr. Alexander had to say about the “album thing” in the interview below).

“Love & Fear” starts with “Tight Situation”, a hypnotic beats-heavy tune, raw and punchy but also full of, and that’s something Amir Alexander always stood for, playful and harmonic ele-ments that prevent the whole track from being one-dimensional and. Still you can say that “Tight Situations” structure and style are quite traditional, between the abovementioned Chicago House and Detroit Techno. Fair enough (“Moist Flesh!” is another example for Alexander working with and through these classic sounds) but this album has way more to offer. With tracks like “A Virtuous Woman” and “Love & Fear” Amir Alexander slows the tempo down, adds odd vocal samples and virtuously casual synthesizer melodies and creates an atmosphere not easy to conceive. Still focused on rhythms, sparse and frangible, it’s in no way dark and gloomy but surprising and tasteful if you take your time to decipher these codes. And when you got it the hazardously whirling “Tranquility Base!” comes up with foot-work rhythms soaked in melancholia and might confuse you if you’re not-so-open minded.
Another highlight is “Nordisk Saga”, which is Scandinavian singer Cecilia Bruun Hansen theatrically reciting a story that might be a nordic tale (Alexander gives some very interesting informations about the song and the story behind it in the interview below) over a floating house beat and spheric keyboards. The general idea of amalgamating things taken from totally different cultural and/or artistic backgrounds is a dangerous one and usually it ends up being either too clever and obviously forced or simply too stupid but Alexander gets away with it easily.
“Love & Fear” ends in beauty with “Komm, Süßer Tod, Komm, Selge Ruh” (the title’s borrowed from Johann Sebastian Bach, meaning “Come, Sweet Death, Come Blessed Rest”) but (you may have guessed from the name) it’s a quite moody beauty, piano chords dying away, echoes of blurred rusty voices disappear. And present till the end: the beat.

Free spirit Amir Alexander created a quite unique and sometimes strange album that totally works and for from being just a conglomerate of strange things. In the end it all makes sense and the result is a unit that’s really something special.

(Written by João Geck)