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KANDIS, "1996-99"

Kandis is the first of at least three monikers to date for electronic artist Jens Massel, his releases as Kandis, Senking and Fumble making up the bulk of Karaoke Kalk's 5 year deep back catalog. This digipacked disc collects 14 tracks from the four 12"s spanning 1996-1999, which seems to be the year Massel retired the project. Honestly, it doesn't much matter which name he uses as the differences among and quality of the music of each is negligible.There is an inherently sublime playfulness and charm to all of Massel's work - a sort of slow motion techno pop constructed of reverberated bass beats, melody and percussion blips and various other neat sounds like steam hiss and electric discharge. The German title "ruckenschwimmer" warrants mentioning as it means 'jerk floats', according to BabelFish. "Dilldop" is one of the most basic tracks but it comes in three drastically different versions. "Treasure Island" really takes its time to explore a sea of liquid pops and spacious bass. "Waiting" is bright and up beat and surprises, on first listen, by adding a male vocal low in the mix. "Set Tecker" breaks ranks somewhat with a beat less intro series of growls.. "Luna Corona" is in the same cheery, childish spirit as much Kraftwerk. "Moving" also has male vocals, more up front in the mix, and takes on a bit of a Tikiman/Rhythm & Sound, Chain Reaction styled dub feel. And "Outro" gracefully wraps things up with a gentle bass swell and poly rhythmic groove. All in all I'm duly impressed with Kandis, start to finish, more so than the Senking and Fumble discs which have a few boring/bad tracks. A new Massel album, moniker t.b.a, is due out soon ...