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Triple R - Flashback

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Artist: Triple R

Album: Flashback

Label: My Best Friend

Review date: Aug. 22, 2005

I would forgive anyone for not keeping up with Triple R’s releases/labels/mix-discs/etc. (I can't download, so I can't do it.) Riley Reinhold may not be as friskily prolific as Get Physical or Kompakt, but between the Traum label mothership and its Trapez, Trapez Limited and My Best Friend imprints, he offers a fair amount of music to wade through. Of those labels, My Best Friend is the most charming, and, well, friendliest of the bunch.

What makes Flashback so pleasure-intensive is its lightness of touch. Most every track has a distinct moment that sends it spiralling into the night sky: the tremolo keys that ascend the Metro Area handclaps of Toro’s “Phantom Drive”; the intricate threads of micro-melodies spun through Steve Barnes and Riley Reinhold’s “Someday”; the pinprick stings puncturing the thick, slippery bass of Daso’s “Daybreak”. Much of the disc could slot easily between any electro-house selections chosen by the fanatics at the infamous web list ILM, but as befits the Reinhold ‘mood’, everything seems slightly hazy, on the precipice of some emotional revelation. Youthanasia’s “Mondo Cane” has to be the hundredth song to directly reference New Order’s “Blue Monday”, but it is sufficiently tear-stained to develop the original’s strange emotional netherworld - imagine Bernard Sumner cocooned in silken thread.

The label suggests you hear Flashback as an elaboration on the ‘new disco’. It’s a fair call. The real victory of this disc, however, is Reinhold’s enviable ability to string together plateaus of melancholic resonance. Moving from “Mondo Cane” through to Daso’s “Daybreak” your lip is constantly at the edge of trembling. What is it about this sound, somewhere between disco, minimal house and the diaphanous strangeness of the eighties witnessed through a frosted windscreen, that is so strangely moving?

By Jon Dale

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