Maceo Plex
Life Index


4.0
excellent

Review

by Daniel Incognito EMERITUS
July 2nd, 2011 | 21 replies | 7,418 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Maceo Plex may just be a moniker, yet there is something very real about Life Index.

Maceo Plex may just be a moniker, yet there is something very real about Life Index. One of a few different performing names for artist Eric Estornel, Maceo Plex delves into the house sound, and does so with the same quality as his other exploits as Maetrik and Mariel Ito. It is fair to say dubstep has been garnering considerable attention in 2011 on sputnik, with artists pushing at the boundaries of the genre by drawing on sounds and ideas from countless genres. Lacking their sibling’s vigour and unexplored territory, the genres of techno and house are far from declining. Some have characterised this shift in the direction of electronic music in recent years as a move from vibe and feeling to more technical output. Regardless of how the more broad developments in electronic music are interpreted, Life Index offers house music at its most rich and vibrant, far from characterising a waning or uninspired genre.

The single Vibe Your Love was released in late 2010, as part of a huge year for label Crosstown Rebels. You’d easily be forgiven for still grooving to it halfway through 2011, with a delicious bass line and the occasional bar of piano chords moving through digitalised and distorted vocal samples singing “Do-ahh-hah.” A superb sampling of vocals from Stevie Wonder’s For Your Love sound perfectly situated alongside the soulful beat. With no pretension or cheese to it, Wonder’s vocals aren’t dwelled on for long but add a little more magic to the song. Other songs such as The Feelin’ seem mindful of the sounds of the past, not emphasising its technical chops but working the vibe of the song with chopped up vocals and simple keyed instruments.

The pace is slowed down in songs such as Dexter’s Flight, though the soul still lingers in the beat as vocal samples overlap and sound as if they’re coming from a cleared out arena. Though not exerting much energy in its movements throughout, the album suffers only slightly from its length, not dragging much as it grooves along. Bring it Back at the tail of the album still moves with purpose, the vocal samples used again skilfully to create dynamic vibes and harmonies. There may be an element of cliché to the lyrics, but it’s harder to critique the delicious tone and structuring.

Life Index is not a revolutionary album, instead seemingly more concerned with interpreting the sounds and grooves of the past in a contemporary fashion. It is perhaps the logical successor to much of the most soulful house in the 1980s, the soul still very much alive today. Such comparisons probably draw fears of an outdated sound, though these fears prove unnecessary. Life Index sounds fresh and vibrant, with songs like Vibe Your Love justifying the ongoing relevance of house music with a slow and deep groove.

Notes:
1 For a taste of Eric Estornel's work as Maetrik see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crIQR4iI7lg
2 For an example of the increasing attention given to dubstep in 2011, see dev’s review of Submotion Orchestra, http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/44302/Submotion-Orchestra-Finest-Hour/
3 For a perspective on the waning of minimal techno owing to a rise of dubstep and ‘dub-techno’ see http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2008/oct/07/death.minimal.techno.house
4 The clash between feeling and technical chops are talked about at http://www.offmodern.com/2011/06/revisionist-house/
5 The video for Vibe Your Love can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEMvwl5EAfY



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user ratings (13)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 2nd 2011



31097 Comments


Haha, yes

Hey, nice name drop

Digging: Banks - Goddess

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
July 2nd 2011



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hopefully it tricks those dubstep followers on here into checking this out.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 2nd 2011



31097 Comments


They're a sneaky bunch, that lot

Anyways have fun, I'm off to get drunk

Bassist540
July 2nd 2011



373 Comments


I hate the vocals, but everything else makes up for it

Irving
Staff Reviewer
July 2nd 2011



7177 Comments


Great review. Not really into the genre, but if I can I'll give this a go.

Digging: Ty Segall - Manipulator

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
July 2nd 2011



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

For anybody not sure if they'll dig this, just check out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEMvwl5EAfY

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2011



31097 Comments


Finally got a chance to read that Guardian article. Interesting stuff, even though I am more than a little bemused by the idea of dub techno and its apparent sudden appearance on the music scene

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
July 5th 2011



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha yeah, know what you mean.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2011



31097 Comments


I mean I don't believe in the tag at all, but all these people talking about its sudden emergence clearly forgot about LEFTFIELD

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
July 8th 2011



23807 Comments


nice review. I didn't really like that one track you linked in the comments so I'll probably skip this.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 20th 2011



31097 Comments


You should check out Steffi & BNJMN as well then Potsy

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
August 22nd 2011



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nah he meant individually. Also check out Deniz Kurtel and Jamie Jones (individuals haha).

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2011



31097 Comments


No, they're individual releases as well lol

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2011



31097 Comments


But you said collab

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2011



31097 Comments


From now on all my rec's are in list form

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
August 22nd 2011



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

From now on all my rec's will just be Tangerine Dream. %__%



Yotimi
October 21st 2011



6473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awesome album right here

Digging: Millie and Andrea - Drop The Vowels

scissorlocked
July 5th 2012



3509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Maceo Plex is probably one of the best house producers out there these days

this is indeed infectious

Adash
July 5th 2012



1356 Comments


Although some songs off this are pretty damn vibey, for the sake of form I must say fuck all this new school shit and get on some real shit like Kerri Chandler

Sirob
July 5th 2012



2653 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

saw this dude live and he mixed a great set



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