Ivory Frequency

[The Strangest Callings promo sleeve]"The Strangest Callings" (Promo Single, 2002)


Two takes on the title track, one the Album Version and the other simply labelled Version II. Like predecessor single Today, this resolutely whets the appetite for their first long-player Plug-In.

Version II appears first with its extensive remix treatment, kicking off with a distant echoing voice shouting out the title. Aimed at getting grungy types with nasty dreadlock hairdos waiving their dirt around dingy club dance floors, this succeeds admirably. On the other hand, the Album Version is, despite its occasionally frenetic sequencers, a slightly more temperate track in a light trance stylee. There's definitely some unusual imagination and creativity at work in Ivory Frequency. Not sure how it will sustain itself over the full length of an album, but I'm still keen to find out. 7/10

Rob Dyer (March 2007)

[Today sleeve]"Today" (Single, 2001)


Full marks to German label Dependent for continuing to expand its musical horizons. When they signed Seabound to join future pop crusaders VNV Nation I figured they'd discovered a highly successful formula and were sticking with it. It was with no expectation of surprises then that I put on this inaugrual release by newcomers Ivory Frequency.

Hooray for surprises! This was not what I was expecting at all, what's more I like it. I like it a lot. My first immediate thoughts were of UK 'dark techno' outfit Greenhaus. Indeed, even after repeated listening the similarities with Greenhaus' debut, particularly on the first mix of Today Is The Day, remain striking. The dark distortion and thumping beat that kicks this great three-tracker off could have been headed straight for the Wumpscut zone. Instead, the beats are pushed right up front and the melodic, repetative synth parts quickly get your body twitching and once it starts there's no stopping it. A distant voice adds the titular refrain and that's about it. But that's all this corking stomper needs. The chilled-out downtime break towards the end also hints that Ivory Frequency's gifts lie in more than one direction. The Soda Mix is a softer dance version. 7/10

Rob Dyer