Released 20th April 2018
Reso - the alias of London-based producer Alex Melia - returned to the dance music world in late 2017 with the inaugural release of his new RX0 label, Kodama, a four-track EP of spirited dance music. For the second release on the label, Reso has chosen two productions that act as a counterpoint of sorts to the first EP. Where RX001 was a broad mission statement, RX002 is a laser-focused burst of breaks, moods, and programming finesse.
‘Avenoir’ is a dedication to Reso’s roots, a tip of the hat from the man today to his younger self. This is most evident in the way breaks are chopped, layered, and sequenced to feed tension and tease expectation. A student of the artform, Reso also tips his hat to early pioneers like Dillinja, Paradox, and Goldie. Rubbing against the youthful exuberance of this rhythmic ride is the older Reso, a man with a better understanding of melodic progression, chord sequences, and song structure. The result is what Melia refers to as “prog jungle” with guitars, pads, and ambient melodies easing the breaks in and evolving throughout, guiding the listener towards memories that haven’t happened yet — an idea implied by the track’s name, a noun invented by John Koenig and meant to represent, “the desire that memory could flow backward.”
On the flip side of this prog jungle escapade is ‘Chibaku Tensei’ (Japanese for planetary devastation), another expansive production that riffs on darker shades of the same ideas: intense drum manipulations, with breaks cut sharp and twisted to breaking point, mood-setting ambient pads for short bursts of respite, and tense but necessary forward motion.
Both tracks were cut to 45rpm on vinyl for maximum dancefloor impact while the digital release includes a bonus track, ‘Aural Animation’, a tongue-in-cheek roller that indulges musical fantasies, the ideal soundtrack to a car ride into space.
RX002 affirms Reso’s return and dedication to finding new directions without forgetting the paths that brought him there.
All tracks written & produced by Alex Melia. Artwork by Morrk. Mastered by Lewis Hopkin at Star Delta.
b. Chibaku Tensei
Release Date: 11th August 2017
⚬ Lead track Kodama is stunning jungle prog opus
⚬ EP serves as label mission statement: Service will be all vibes: cinematic jungle & D&B
For more than a decade Reso has deployed some of the sharpest drum programming skills in dance music to move dancefloors and transport listeners to new worlds. A quiet force in the trenches of the electronic dance music world, Reso — the alias of Alex Melia — has been called on by a diverse array of contemporaries including Burial & Jamie Woon, for whom he has engineered, and remixes for guitar heroes Animals as Leaders, grime kingpin Wiley and dance music legends The Prodigy and Carl Cox. After a two-year break following his Ricochet LP for Hospital Records, during which he scored a new virtual reality game for PlayStation 4, Reso returns with four tracks of spirited dance music that mark the inaugural release on his RX0 label.
The EP is driven by two upfront drum & bass productions that highlight Reso’s attention to detail and flair for music with an epic scope. ‘Kodama’ is an eight-minute long excursion of relentless drums, tight edits, and roaring bass lines that jolts you to action. On the flip side ’Tiberium’ plays with a bright, uplifting lead before plunging into a rolling break and warm bass offset by soft keys and female vocals. This is drum & bass as sweeping, cinematic compositions not just dancefloor music by the numbers.
The EP also showcases other sides of Reso’s sonic world with the instrumental break of ‘Fluid Mechanics’ resetting the mood and contrasting against the rush of ‘Kodama’ with atmospheric tinges, floating keys, and soaring guitar riffs. The EP closes on another upfront note with ‘Mantis’, which swaps the frenetic breaks and tempos of drum & bass for houseleaning 4/4 rhythms and speeds while remaining just as effective.
All tracks written & produced by Alex Melia.
Artwork by Morrk.
Mastered by Lewis Hopkin at Star Delta.
a2. Fluid Mechanics