With Metamaterial (MT USB01), Mint Tea Records flies in from outer-space, bringing forth galactic sounds with a vintage feel. Packed into a spaceship-like custom USB stick, this 8-track release is an exciting display of the Bristol-based label’s vision of the future.
Tracks from El Choop and Ornamental initiate lift-off. Random Cell’s synth stabs echo and crackle before a kick drum lumbers in, while in 'Feel Tool', emotive arpeggios and mechanical percussion zip around a half-time beat. The pace quickens with Oddnipp’s 'Designer Nipp'. A pulsing melody line and sumptuous pads propel the track forward, setting up Boulderhead’s 'Ionic Bonding' to pierce through the chug. Dub-techno pulses fuse skittering percussion and a snaking bassline, lightening the mood for the tracks to follow.
Kormatsov’s 'Night Dance' playfully mixes old and new music styles as a retro acid line and galactic sound effects swish alongside an electro beat, while Oddnipp’s 'Oddsynth' sounds like a house groover straight from the cassette player. Komartsov’s second, 'Acid Rain', gives a nod to the tech-house sound of the ‘naughty noughties’, where chopped vocals and a playful bass line lead whirring bells and tinkles to delightful effect. Rounding off the proceedings in a serious fashion is Oddnipp’s third contribution, 'Groovenipp'. The melancholic synth line and rumbling bass leave a lasting effect long after they have trailed off to end the release in a contemplative manner.
Suitably tripped-out music videos accompany six of the tracks, courtesy of the wonderfully named DJ Paranoid Caveman and Boulderhead to complete the package. MT USB01 is an innovative multi-sensory experience, with sound, sight and touch ticked off. As for taste? I guess it would be like a cup of mint tea—I’ll have what they’re having.
Metamaterial was released on July 6, 2019 on Mint Tea Records. It is available as a digital album and a custom USB at the Mint Tea Records Bandcamp page.