Mari Kattman - Hover
Mari Kattman's new, self-titled project featuring her partner Matt Echo has some seriously wicked trip-hop tricks and tracks. While it's no real shocker that Kattman's voice is absolutely gorgeous, the real judgement comes on behalf of Matt Echo who has even stated that he is fairly new to music making in the interview I conducted with both parties. However, though being fresher to this electronic field, Echo does his best and casts some wicked beats to compliment Kattman's chords.
'Heart Over Mind' starts off the album with heavy percussion and angelic chords. As always, Kattman's voice is blissful and talented; I don't think there's a way for this woman to sing the wrong way. During the chorus of the song, a dragging synth line provides background noise which kind of reminds me of techniques used in witch house.
'Skin' is more technical focusing on light d'n'b influences and smoother electronic flows. I wouldn't necessarily classify 'The Tide' as a trip-hop track but I could definitely put it under the IDM belt. The feel of the song is fairly casual and is recommended for anyone who loves electronic music but is just looking for casual listening.
'Hunter' brings the music back to the trip-hop field with layering vocals taking center stage. The song felt a bit too cluttered, but it wasn't draining. 'Hearts On Fire' played with piano keys around a percussion based rhythm that every so often dropped in electronic spins. However, the next track 'Ranimator' was absolutely made for dancefloors. It's a fun electropop track fused with more elements of IDM.
'Numb' was much more minimal than most of the other tracks; there was a little bit of piano, a background edge, and the general percussion rhythm. Other than Kattman's voice, the song was relatively straightforward. This was a song built for the lyrics and story involved. Bringing forth more electropop dance goodness, 'Invisible' came in next. I would love to see a trance remix of this as it has slight influences from that genre, but I think giving it a boost in that field would turn it into a slammer.
The last song on the album 'Full of Light' is the weakest track in my opinion. What it's trying to be is a fast paced dance song but it doesn't have the meat on its bones to really pull it off. What was needed was more bass, and I believe Kattman should have sped up her singing to match the rather rapid pace of the song. Either that, or the rhythm needed to slow down.
Mari Kattman and Matt Echo have a wonderful project going on together. While I think the lyrics and vocals are spot on there is room for improvement within Echo's production abilities. However, that is not a bad thing at all. Hover is a damned fine album as it is which means that if Echo continues to grow his abilities then so will the project.
Needless to say, Kattman and Echo have a very bright future. There may be a few rough edges right now but it's nothing blaring that practice and patience can't fold over. Their potential is outstanding, and I can't wait to hear what they'll put out next.
Aug 15 2016
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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