Antiform- 'City In Exile'
By Joachim Hackshaw
Album: City In Exile
Genre: drum and bass
Energy, it might be a word that's thrown around all too often in the dance music world.
However, it's the best way to sum up the raw power that is Antiform's debut CD, City in Exile. Now, please bear with me as I test the depths of my vocabulary and see how many different words I can come up with for energetic.
The high octane approach of Antiform's live show has helped them build a solid following in New Zealand's clubland so it's no surprise to see them take this approach to City In Exile.
The intro sets the tone as the drums of war call the listener to attention before the aggressive guitar riffs of Fight it Out snap them into action.
New Zealand music's man of the moment Tiki Taane steps up next to offer his vocal assistance on Got To Be You. It does seem like Tiki Taane has become the Kiwi musical equivalent of Candyman, but I must say that this tune is indeed a winner. The Antiform lads lay on just enough funk to bring out the best in Tiki's vocal contribution. The trademark energy is preserved to produce a real dancefloor stomper.
The guest list continues to grow as the trio invite many more vocalists to leave their mark on the project. It can be a risky move to invite too many cooks into your kitchen, fortunately the move pays off here as each artist brings their own unique signature to the project without taking away from the overall direction of the album.
At the midway point the hip hop of Neesh & Ethical meets with heavy guitar riffs in Grip before making way for rock style vocals over a wailing guitar and piercing strings in Bury Me, which in turn moves over for driving Drum and Bass in the form of Ease The Pressure.
It's at this point I think they might just be showing off as they move through musical influences with ease.
I think it speaks volumes that I'm chewing up word count before I've even mentioned the album's highlights in the form of a nice and techy rolling Drum and Bass number produced alongside Agent Alvin in the shape of Artificial Intelligence.
And perhaps the biggest shock of all for this man who never enjoyed anything to do with Fur Patrol would have to be just how much I enjoyed the contribution of their former lead singer, Julia Deans, on Intervene. Hard hitting and crisp drums combine with an epic string backing and haunting vocals to form a morbidly uplifting conclusion.
Special mention should go to the contributions of Antiform's MC of choice Twincam on two equally dancefloor devastating drum and bass tunes in Crash and Taking Over.
City In Exile is definitely a release more suited to the dancefloor than the chin strokers but it's fair to say that Antiform know how to do what they do very well. It's worth checking out.