M-Pex & Makrox
Enough Records, 2012
Review by Kent Manthie
This new release by M-Pex & Makrox, Volukta is a really special treat. Not only is it available for free via www.archive.org, but it’s a great listen. It’s billed as “Electronic” but there’s more to it than that: there’s some primo acoustic guitar noodling, sexy, swinging saxophone and what seems like real drums mixed in with drum machine. Of course, there are plenty of synths, samples of voices, found sounds and the like. But what makes it so entrancing is not that it’s just another pretty face, it has, mixed in, with hip beats and style, Indian-tinged raga sounds that fit in nicely with the rest of the potpourri of sounds in it.
The first song, “Aldehbaran”, sets the stage for the album: instrumental, fluid, going from Eastern, almost Sufi- style, entrancing melodies, to modern-day House music, techno-avant-garde, etc. From there it goes on and on, later bringing in an organ to back things up and instead of a fast, whirling dervish tempo, Volukta takes a slowed-down, mellower approach that isn’t too ambient or over-texturized, but that does keep the listener into the grooves it lays down.
Volukta is a collaboration between the Portuguese “band” M-Pex and DJ Makrox, who helps out with the samples and the seamlessness and fluidity of the music. It’s DJ Makrox that brings the “electronic” label to the project, while M-Pex bring Portuguese guitar fused with a jazzy sound and solid beats that drive the whole thing, while Makrox fills in the gaps with some hip-hop appeal as well as the aforementioned sampling, atmospherics and audio tech.
Besides the first cut, “Aldehbaran”, a few other stand-out cuts include the somewhat humorous (with the funny voices Makrox samples) “Hezper”, the spacey “Kanopus” and “Kassiopeya” as well as “Mira Kaeli”, which really shows off the acoustic guitar talents that are mesmerizing in themselves, but even more so when mixed with DJ Makrox’s box of toys.
It’s hard to pick out any particular tune on here because they’re all so great and the album is just seamless, going from one tune to the next, so it’s one that deserves to be heard as a whole, in one listen. The mix of traditional Portuguese music with some sitar and tablas in the background and some other Eastern sounds, really blends well, making this not just another “electronica” record, but a good example of what quality “world music” should sound like.
Whichever style of music you’re coming from – whether it be “world music”, electronica”, “trance” or European hip-hop, this is a perfect mix of all of that and more. So, enjoy it, compliments of Enough Records. Again, you can download this for free by visiting www.archive.org and typing in “M-Pex & Makrox” in their search box. –KM.