Morphology – “The Dark Wheel” (Cultivated Electronics) [Repress: July 5, 2021]

New double dipped acid electro repress of March 2021’s Dark Wheel from the Morphology duo Matti Turunen and Michael Diekman proves that the demand for electro’s resurgence in this year is still high, and that Morphology and UK label Cultivated Electronics are one of several Electro names leading the pack in 2021 along with Plant43, Carl Finlow, and Sync 24.

Electro is definitely having a moment right now and it’s well worth a look back at the March release of Morphology’s release, ‘The Dark Wheel’ as it repressed this month on wax from Cultivated Electronics. Usually the trick to getting vinyl from electro artists is to be on it like a shark smelling blood in the water.. mostly because once the vinyl is gone, it’s out of circulation for a good while. Then when it resurfaces, it’s massively in demand on the used market for double what it initially sold for. Safe to say any purchase of electro appreciates, mostly because the genre seemingly doesn’t age.

Since the cheap repros of 303 boxes were big this last year, it’s no surprise to hear a bunch more of people diving into the acid genre, and the tracks on this EP from Morphology are no exception. And I would have to say that even though the acid /seems/ done here in a semi conventional way, you know… where some people usually go for the easy way out and letting their 303 blab away over a drum track while messing with a cut-off all willy-nilly, with a closer look, you can see Morphology does it with class and uses tricks like resampling and layering of acid lines to interact with each other which makes the acid sound advanced.

First up on the EP is “Sorace” which comes out strong with a heavy funky distorted 808 kick and filtered tom and pulse seeking upper synth line where the snares lead the back beat, the acid line is filtered in and it gets contrasted with a classic 202 style synth pattern to provide verses and chorus for the acid. As in typical Morphology fashion, there’s lots to unpack here, since the layers of acid keep getting pushed around in the space and there’s so much to latch on to. The pads are lush, the acid is thick and well thought out; the bass is heavy. It’s just sick and flush with great ideas through and through.

Second up is “Teogre” which has that patented Morphology aesthetic where there’s dreamy bell blips along side the sinister chorded, resonant bassline and outer space exploring pads. Deeper in, you can hear a bit of sound design with crunchy IDM-like bits to create interest among the gritty bassline. As the track evolves, it provides these laser probes into deep space with FM synths. The bassline here is a great compliment to the EP since it fits well with the acid aesthetic, as a contrast to pure acid electro, but can sit along side and improve upon other acid electro in a DJ set without overwhelming a listener with too much 303.

Next track “Quadra” returns home with the acid theme of the EP which comes with a sampled blips, or mixes a couple layers of 303s as head notes and lets the full acid theme reign. A theme of which floats amid deep space reverbs coming and going within that element, -letting you analyze the acid in your face or getting lost within it as it draws you in with it to the back of the track. Again, there’s lots and lots to unpack. There’s no simple one trick to this track and the others on this EP. Which is great because you find yourself gravitating to sounds in this track like a kid in a candy store. “Oh that’s a dope sound! -so this this! -damn..” Which really makes you excitedly want to listen to it all over again and is something that makes Morphology’s music ultimately timeless and never makes it stale.

Last up is the track “Orrere” which brings you a distorted and squishy LFO infused high resonant liquid synth loop playing throughout that get’s infused drum track to provide a serious funky vibe.. After stopping and giving a quick rewind to the drum track, you notice that this drum track alone has deeply subdued 303 elements buried with the 909 toms and 808 pattern elements. A nice little easter egg that really ties the EP together. While you’re focused on the funk, the Morphology ‘aliens’ invade with their synth pads hypnotically pulling you into outer space. You say.. “Well ok, let’s hitch a ride. Let’s hang out and go drinking with the aliens.” Then, in typical fashion.. you tell them. “Oh hol’ up, let’s pull up to my buddy Charlie’s house.” As soon as you and the boys are about to head out to the Pleiades, it seems like you all got ‘couch locked’ at Charlie’s house, and the track ends. Not a bad way to live. Though it feels kind of kind of bitter sweet. But you know that there will be many more trips out with Morphology in the future.

Big props for Morphology and a thank you to Cultivated Electronics for pressing this one up again and letting us have a decent look at some of the best in the new era of twenty-first century electro.

-Sean Ocean

Link – Juno

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