Title: Falling Into One
Artist: Phone Booth Robbers
Release Date: 2014 April 17
Genre: Psychedelic Downtempo
License: CC BY-NC-SA
Label: Ektoplazm / Omnitropic
So, this is another one of those releases that I was late too. By a mile or two or nine. But I’m going to make up for that now.
Phone Booth Robbers is a project of Bastiaan van Staaveren, from the town of Hoofddorp in The Netherlands. Phone Booth Robbers began creating music in the mid-nineties as a more trance oriented project that segued into richly melodic downtempo and electronica with influences from acts like Shpongle, Ott, Bluetech, Ozric Tentacles.
A lot of the downtempo / chill releases I’ve listened to lately have been closer to trip-hop and dub. This is something that is somewhat like Kurbeats without the Scandinavian influences, and a bit more hippie / psychedelia layered into the mix. The similarity is in the melodic nature of the songs, and the superb instrumentation and textures layered throughout the release.
Yes, there are some more dance-able tunes on this release. Enough that they could almost be labeled IDM, except they are still at lower BPM’s than the typical IDM track. (The fastest track on this release is 148BPM, but the majority are between 98 and 112 BPM.)
This release is something that I find myself being able to almost meditate to. It’s what I think trance music should be like, even if it is at higher speeds than the ones on this release. There’s a lot more subtly to the production and attention to the way the tracks relate to each other. It makes for a really great listening experience with earplugs, or as background sound for a living space or office. Bastiaan has really achieved a recording that is as flexible as it is mesmerizing.
And, a few of the tracks have some spoken word, and light vocal parts. But they are well thought out and integrated into the work, and are beneficial. I don’t hear them in the negative way the Spoonhead vocals bothered me.
And that’s why I like this release a lot. It fits in a space for me that many recordings don’t. I can sit here and be mesmerized listening to it to the point of meditating. But, I can put it on in the car, or while I am at work and perfectly focus on the tasks at hand. And, if I am so moved, I can even dance to a few of the tracks. But, you don’t want to see that. It’s not a pretty sight. I’ll leave that to Bastiaan.