[SUBV001] Quantazelle: Coaster

Coaster’s sweet melodies
swirl over quirky-yet-alluring percussion crafted from mangled bits of
environmental noise, lovingly coaxed into structures appropriate for
chill sets and dancefloor transitions.

[DOWNLOAD .zip]

TRACKLISTING:1. Braking (Hushed) {2:53}
2. It’s Fizzbang {5:00}
3. Late Blazing Kinch Theme {3:00}
4. Wineglass Chopstick Clinkrush {3:56}
5. Ping Query {5:01}
6. Belmont Killa {4:03}
7. Pedwards {3:07}
8. Clue Minus You {6:02}
9. Sunken Projectile {3:17}
10. Pansy Beatmatch {1:59}
11. Vanity Knobs with Groove Grimace {5:13}
12. Stereofoam {4:43}

“Braking (Hushed)” (1) opens the album on a strong note with a
pounding kick, persistant bassline, and an obliterated vocal sample
combining to form a hiphop-like base for the uplifting, hopeful melody
that soon steps in to take center stage. “It’s Fizzbang,” (2) creates a
hand-drum percussive pattern out of tapping and scraping a vintage
acoustic-electric guitar. The third track, “Late Blazing Kinch Theme”
takes a catchy synthesized-harp melody, loops it, and adds harmonies and
quivering percussive elements to create a sonically-intriguing
supportive texture for the subsequent harmonic exploration within the
track.

The title “Coaster” refers to the tongue-in-cheek packaging concept
behind the album: the disc can serve as a beverage coaster when not
needed as a music CD. The case itself is designed to mimic the packaging
of a stylish electronic accessory–such as a mobile phone–complete
with a cover photo of the Coaster in its (optional, not included — see
SUBV001c) carrying case and a concise “instruction booklet” outlining
the process for using the disc as a beverage coaster. The disc itself is
silver and black, with a guide for correct beverage placement.

REVIEWS:
“The key to any hypnotic record is the beat. Quantazelle
(a.k.a. Liz McLean Knight) uses the same deep bass and stuttering synth
stubs [sic] to keep you on track while she takes her static samples
skating across the cosmic plains. A hot trick that could get stale in
someone else’s hands, but Quantazelle melds in delicate instrumentation
and slowly builds the tracks into a high-paced frenzy, a playful kind of
manic with toy piano tinkering out mischievous melody. Coaster’s
collection of spry songs is genuine experimental endearment.” – Carla
Costa, XLR8R

“With a pseudonym that evokes at once computer-based music
(quantization) and the female gender (Mademoiselle), Chicago’s premiere
lady of electronic Liz McLean-Knight presents a sumptuous, often
intriguing and slightly paranoid soundtrack to city life, with elements
of acoustic instrumentation, found sounds and discreet vocal inputs
atomised, digested and regurgitated into an impressive first album. ”

…The music is exquisitely complex and abstract, with elements of
electronic and acoustic instrumentation constantly set on a collision
course with found sounds and sharp pseudo-industrial beat structures.
Amazingly at ease with chaotic sonic landscapes, Quantazelle crafts
subtle little melodies out of debris of techno and electro while also
providing some interesting atmospheric variations. The album opens with
the short but superbly effective Braking (Hushed). Built around a sharp
hip-hop-influenced rhythmic structure reminiscent of Autechre circa Tri
Repetae, Liz layers sounds to develop a mind-bursting melodic pattern.
Swiftly moving on to the luxuriant and upbeat It’s Fizzbang, she
unequivocally asserts her sonic territory, injecting some more
sharp-edged cuts further along with Belmont Killa, Sunken Projectile or
Stereofoam. Yet, Quantazelle also knows how to manipulate more delicate
and volatile sound combinations. Whether through the light melodic
circumvolutions of a harp on Late Blazing Kinch Theme, the aquatic
acrobatics of Pansy Beatmatch or Vanity Knobs With Groove Grimace, Liz
McLean-Knight manages to develop fully functional organic structures in a
few minutes without using tired gimmicks or empty stylistic effects.
Even the hidden track, found approximately ten minutes after the end of
Stereofoam, is delightfully quirky.

If electronica sometimes appear to stagnate, Coaster certainly
displays enough fresh ideas and impressive moments to shake up even the
avant-garde. Never losing the focus on the music as she often ventures
into abstract territories, Liz McLean-Knight avoids the pitfalls of
contemporary music and manages to remain truly accessible, while at the
same time challenging. This first Quantazelle album is superbly unique
and creative, yet captivating and engaging.” –THE MILK FACTORY

“This is traditional IDM along the lines of Warp’s classic Artificial
Intelligence series. Sometimes melodic, sometimes complex, the textures
here are key. “It’s Fizzbang” is slow-building with layers of
repetitive synth patterns and beats. “Late Blazing Kinch Theme” is
simple and bass-heavy. While the title “Wineglass Chopstick Clinkrush”
sounds like an IDM parody, the track is actually a pretty combination of
piano sounds and thumping beats. On “Belmont Killa,” bleeps and Derrick
May-era piano meld perfectly with soulful vocal samples.

… Quantazelle (aka Liz McLean Knight) crafts intricate, original
compositions. She has a solid grasp of the past, and I’m certain she has
some surprises in store for the future as well.” – Jacob Arnold,
GRIDFACE

“…Braking (Hushed)” sets the precedent for Coaster’s well-paced track
sequence with its Rota-tilled Alka-Seltzer breaks fizzling in the mix
flirting with fresh improv melodies. “Late Blazing Kinch Theme” has the
unusual combination of delicate plucked strings wrapped around noisy
whistling straw samples not unlike having honey instead of jelly on your
peanut butter sandwich – not everyone’s tried it, but you know it
sounds good. “Clue Minus You” is 4/4 proof that Quantazelle isn’t afraid
to admit she can hold her own in any setting. “Vanity Knobs with Groove
Grimace” is a chilled head-nodding track that not only has a catchy
title but it goes down smooth as well. “Stereofoam” comes full circle
from “Braking (Hushed)” with more enjoyable beats and blips to make us
forget the back cover of the CD mentions a mysterious bonus track sold
separately.

With Coaster, Quantazelle adds another quarter to the jukebox of
women producing quality electronic music, as well as adding to her
growing list of projects already making impressive marks on the scene.
From her online electronic music magazine Modsquare to her electronics
accessories-inspired jewelry company Zelle and online shop Fractalspin
to share her wares, the only thing left to chat about is what to expect
next from this truly multi-talented artist.” -John Reveles, IGLOOMAG.COM

“Musically, Coaster may not be on the cutting edge, but it’s a solid,
more-than-competent release. The bulk of the 12 tracks here work
straight from the classic Warp playbook, with skittering rhythms
indebted to Amber-era Autechre before the pair’s beats went all
algorhythmic on us. Quantazelle isn’t a one-trick pony, though, as she
dabbles in 4/4 pounding (“Pedwards”), retro videogame bleeps (the
closing “Stereofoam”), and even an ambient piano track (“Wineglass
Chopstick Clinkrush”).

In fact, Coaster’s best when things slow down a bit. “Vanity Knobs with Groove Grimace,”

  

© 2017 subVariant | Quality Chicago Electronic Music. All rights reserved.
Fontana by aThemes