Vex'd - Cloud Seed

by Rich Morris Rating:7 Release Date:2010-03-22

In 2005, Vex'd released the highly acclaimed Degenerate, a dubstep record at a time when dubstep was far from being the cool-to-namedrop genre it is now. Unfortunately, a simple geographical parting split the boys up. Now, Planet Mu Records have released a collection of audio scraps which could have pointed towards the feel of a second album - along with a couple of remixes and covers.

Cloud Seed is supposed to be viewed as if could have been a fully fledged second go. And it kind of works. It's got big album tunes and the sort of mindless filler that peppers the long players of the best of them. Pick of the bunch is 'Heartspace' - a great track which starts with a beautiful vocal and stripped-down production and rapidly becomes a battlefied; one where a sprawling cobweb of effects fight a simple but pleasently dark melody for your attention. It oddly ends with what could have been incidental music for a sad scene in an eighties soap opera. The rest of the album isn't bad by any means. It is, however, drowned in that uniquely dub reverb which gets slightly repetitive and boring. That said, the covers are good. There's a great version of Plaids 'Bar Kimura'.

As a scrapbook of what could have been, Cloud Seed is an interesting and entertaing collection. But as an album in its own right it's just a bit average. And in a month when the mighty Autechre drop a new disc, Cloud Seed probably won't get the attention from the IDM underworld a large chunk of it deserves.

James Naylor

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