In the year 1997 (Born God), Slotek emerged from the void with a mystical, magical debut,Seven, both futuristic and forward thinking in its conceptual scope and sonic structure. But as is often the case with such jewels, the album was overlooked by pundits more concerned with debating the merits of downtempo vs. trip-hop, Tricky vs. Massive Attack.
Divorced from the cult of personality and the trappings of the material world, where money, hype and sales figures are the only relevant factors, Slotek producer Special Dark set out to make an even deeper more meaningful album, but one that could not be ignored. Hydrophonic (WSCD/LP031) is that album.
Hydrophonic takes you deeper into the zone where headphones are your only connection to reality. Here, liquid sounds ebb and flow like
waves, constantly moving and metamorphasizing. Fidelity is low, and the tempo is like a lava flow. Skeletal beats are broken and refused into unlikely permutations and combinations. Samples are burnt beyond recognition and given a new life in the mix. Slotek is the spirit talking--musical liberation to break all boundaries.
Slotek creates collages in which the sonics speak for themselves, but on Hydrophonic, Special Dark also experiments with some vocalists. Cameos by Jamaican mic chanter Killa Fabulous ("Dank"), street-corner crooner Deadly ("Bring The Love") and the elegant stylings of Lee Beckett ("Solitaire") represent the next logical step in his productions. Combined with the live instrumentation of horns, tablas, electric guitars, and turntables, Hydrophonic is a sonic triumph over the crude commercialism of music in these last days of the '90s.