INTER-REVIEW: XHIN - SWORD | 4 Nov 2011

A postmodern fairytale adventure is exactly how Brendon P describes Xhin's critically received 3rd album, 'Sword'. Scroll down for an exclusive interview with the maker. Xhin will be performing at Midnight Shift's 2nd Anniversary tomorrow after midnight.

Stroboscopic Artefacts will release 'Sword' on November 11, 2011.



REVIEW
Writing an artist album review can be one of the easiest or most difficult things to do. Given the album I am now listening to, and the somewhat close nature of our relationship as friends, DJ peers, fellow artists and party mad techno enthusiasts alike, a certain objectivity can sometimes be very hard to reach given also, the mutual respect we share for one another's work.  But, I promise, that in all aspects, I will, now, be as objective as possible.

The ten tracker; his third full-length release on Berlin-based label Stroboscopic Artefacts, aptly entitled 'Sword', by immensely gifted home-grown techno producer Xhin, is a stunner! And by no means am I being kind or biased in any way. From the ambient introductory strains of 'The Secret Closet' one feels that you've been invited into a movie where you venture onto a dim forest path whose final destination is not quite set in stone.

The adventure begins almost instantaneously with the onslaught of 'Foxes and Wolves'  (if this were a soundtrack to the movie of his life, it doesn't waste much time with it's first action sequence). 'Teeth' cuts straight into you as well, thereafter, gnawing into you with it's broken, gnashing beats, gliding synths and slicing rhythms, and yet breaking itself down into a hypnotic midsection – almost like a famished wolf (or fox, perhaps) having you for dinner, taking a moment to breathe, and then finishing you off without another moment's hesitation. The real magic here is that you do survive, almost barely - or will you turn into a werewolf at the next full moon, or were you just dreaming? It's anyone's guess really. 

The melancholic strains of 'Insides' and 'Wood' allow the listener those moments of bliss; broken rays of moonlight shimmering through the trees; the true magical beauty of this enchanted forest that you take in as you stroll on. 'Medium', 'You Against Yourself' and 'Vent', the latter being the albums darkest track by far, somehow indicate a certain struggle within; to either resist the change inside of you, or embrace it and make the most of the uncertain journey ahead. Right through to the final refrains of 'foreshadowed' and the albums final track, 'What You drew While You Were Half Asleep', Xhin manages to weave a certain imagery and ambience that fuses the adventurous, mysterious, sublime, blissful, macabre, sometimes even violent and gory elements into musical parallels that transcend the boundaries of musical experimentation and aesthetics.

To the untrained ear or the virtually unintelligent or even, uninteresting, they might wonder what's so special about his work. However, herein lies the real magic. It's the vision of an individual who has written a storybook of his life, in which he shares his dreams, his aspirations, his nautical adventures, maybe even his fear, and uncertainty, and perhaps, even a certain inner conflict. But all of this, shared without fear of judgment nor the faintest necessity to conform. A revelation of true magic that can manifest itself in creation and artistic integrity, a celebration of artistic freedom and the sheer magic that can arise from it.

I've never liked movies with predictable endings, and this one hasn't quite ended yet I think. Not for Xhin at least. Maybe he is the lone swordsman who saves you from the big bad wolf, or maybe, he is the big bad wolf himself. Or just a sly little fox.

Tracklist
01. The Secret Closet
02. Fox and Wolves
03. Teeth
04. Insides
05. Wood
06. Medium
07. You Against Yourself
08. Vent
09. Foreshadowed
10. This Is What You Drew While You Were Half Asleep

INTERVIEW 



Is there a concept behind your upcoming album release, 'Sword'?

It tells a story about getting out of the void explained in a postmodern fairytale context.

What inspired the album?

Life, abstract compositions, weird stuffs among others.

How long did it take to finish?

It took me about a year to complete.

What is your favorite track from the album and why?

You have to listen to the album as a whole.

How would you describe the music from this album?

Ambient, techno, breaks, something in between... Basically it's electronic music in general.

What is your favorite piece of gear and why?

At the moment it's Korg iMS20 on my iPad. It's quite perfect comparing to the real MS20. I could just draft out some sound ideas while I'm on the road. Much fun.

What is one gear you are eyeing next?

Have not decided yet. Maybe one of many vintage gears available out there.

How do you make your music stand out?

Work on a "hook" that is recognisable and unique.

Any advice for emerging producers?

Work hard on whatever you are really good at and evolve from there.

If you are playing a sunrise set what song will you play?

Tycho - Coastal Brake



Which has been your best gig so far, why?

Not one but two. Civic Underground in Sydney and The End Up in San Francisco. The vibe was unexpectedly good.

How do you feel about being a part of the international scene?

It takes a lot of discipline and responsibility to be someone that inspires others.

What are you looking forward to in 2012?

Playing in some exciting places that I have never been before and of course, music making.

Can you give us a website link?

Free stuff -
http://www.mixmag.net/free-mp3-xhin


Xhin Live at The End Up, San Francisco, July 2, 2011

Live at The End Up, San Francisco, July 2, 2011 by Xhin

1. Orbital - Initiation
2. Hiroaki Iizuka - ADL
3. Reeko - Untitled
iTunes (256kbps AAC)
4. Jeff Mills - Automatic
5. Sterac -Liteon
6. DJ Shufflemaster - Slip Inside You
7. Go Hiyama - Tasu
Juno Download (Mp3/WAV) | Amazon (256kbps Mp3) | iTunes (256kbps AAC)
8. Adam Beyer - Simple Maze - Skudge Remix
9. Oscar Mulero - Seleccion Natural Parte 4 - Reeko Remix
Juno Download (Mp3/WAV) | Amazon (256kbps Mp3) | iTunes (256kbps AAC)
10. Lone - Rapid Racer
Juno Download (Mp3/WAV) | Amazon (256kbps Mp3) | iTunes (256kbps AAC)
11. Sleazy McQueen - Naked - KiNK Remix
Juno Download (Mp3/WAV) | Amazon (256kbps Mp3) | iTunes (256kbps AAC)
12. Robert Hood - Range
Juno Download (Mp3/WAV) | Amazon (256kbps Mp3) | iTunes (256kbps AAC)
13. Datamine - Assemble The Troops
Juno Download (Mp3/WAV) | Amazon (256kbps Mp3) | iTunes (256kbps AAC)
14. Xhin - Key
Juno Download (Mp3/WAV) | Amazon (256kbps Mp3) | iTunes (256kbps AAC)
15. Margot - Be A Star - Perc's DIY Mix
Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)
16. 11 11, Dugong - Under The Dead Sea
17. Anstam - Cree B
18. Embed - Zero-1 - Plaid Remix
Juno Download (Mp3/WAV) | Amazon (256kbps Mp3) | iTunes (256kbps AAC)
19. Addison Groove - Fuk Tha 101
Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)
20. Ramadanman - Work Them
21. Mike Monday, Will Saul - Sequence 1 - Scuba Remix
Juno Download (Mp3/WAV) | iTunes (256kbps AAC)
22. Joy Orbison - Hyph Mngo
Juno Download (Mp3/WAV) | Amazon (256kbps Mp3) | iTunes (256kbps AAC)
23. Raiz - Keep Secrets - James Ruskin Remix
24. Lucy, Xhin - LX2
Juno Download (Mp3/WAV) | iTunes (256kbps AAC)
25. Apathism - Twelve
26. Xhin - Vent
Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)
27. Inigo Kennedy - Bosh
Juno Download (Mp3/WAV) | iTunes (256kbps AAC)
28. The Knife - Silent Shout
Juno Download (Mp3/WAV) | Amazon (256kbps Mp3) | iTunes (256kbps AAC)

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By | Brendon P
Tags | Events - Local , Singapore , Techno , Others , Midnight Shift , News , Features , Reviews - Albums , Video , Audio , Mixes , IDM



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