Amelie Lens - Basiel EP
Looks can be deceiving is an old adage, but one that fits perfectly for Amelie Lens. The Belgian looks like she might sing some kind of deeply emotional pop or even trip hop, but when you put Basiel on something very different comes out of your speakers. What could that be? Well it's techno my friends; raw blistering techno. Like something shot out of a European dungeon Basiel rips from moment one. The beat is firmly on the floor before you can even get your barrings and she is not going to just stop there. Each of the three tracks on this record are relentless, never allowing the beat a second to breath. Any kind of pause or slow build is just a time for Lens to give you some room to breath before she pulls you even further down the rabbit hole. This kind of music is not for the faint of heart. The songs will be dark and transformative, not to mention highly repetitive. Through that repetition of drum beats and symbol crashes you end up transfixed, not able to focus on anything else than moving your feet and allowing the beats to wash over you. Songs like "Energize" allow you to step outside of yourself and just experience the frantic energy that great techno always embodies. This album removes the subtlety in pursuit of an all out dance attack. The record's title track features these classic techno hand claps that will transport you directly into the dim club where you imagine Lens plies her trade.
So the crutch that this album really relies on is that you like techno, and if you don't there really is not much for you here. You have to be able to almost transport yourself into her world; If you are into it, it's stellar and amazing, if you aren't it can be rather annoying. I found myself remembering wonderful techno nights I have had in the past and perhaps overlaying those onto this album. It ticks a lot of the awesome techno boxes without really pushing the genre forward or creating something new that is specifically for Amelie Lens. But is that a bad thing? Is it ok to just make really good techno? I think it is. That is what this album does so well, cut out the frills and just stick to the damn basics. It is a breath of fresh air, by not being a breath of fresh air. In the end Basiel is a super solid EP that shows real potential for Lens. I can't wait to see what she does live.
7.9 out of 10