Donnacha Costello - Colorseries
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Donnacha Costello

Released a couple years back, Donnacha Costello's of 12"s under the Colorseries name found a fairly large audience, selling in decent numbers while being licensed for mixes by the likes of Ricardo Villalobos and Tiefschwarz. They even landed in top ten charts of some publications, including The Wire and The New York Times. A bit more on the dancey end of the spectrum (at least for Costello), he's now picked his favorite tracks from the series and compiled them for the first time on CD, along with some previously unreleased cuts from the same time period.

Like the clean, simple cover artwork (where horizontal colored bars represent the length of each corresponding song on the release), Colorseries is an almost austere minimal techno release where there's really not a sound out of place. "Colorseries Orange A (cd edit)" opens the release with six minutes of overlapping puffy synth melodies while a beat rarely changes from a back-and-forth kick and snare (although, for good emphasis, a hi-hat sometimes creeps in). One of the more successful tracks is "Pistachio A," where a speedy arpeggio slowly veers upward in pitch as a steady bass roll and cracking beats gives it a solid backbone.

Sequenced nicely, the compilation runs through both lighter moments (the sparkling, trancey "Colorseries Opal Unreleased (cd edit)") and some darker dips as well. Both "Colorseries Grape B (cd edit)" and "Colorseries Blue B (cd edit)" plumb territory that wouldn't feel out of place on an old Plus 8 Records release, as they slowly and subtly twist acid-tweaked melodies through low-end heavy tracks that aren't quite thumping enough to carve up a dancefloor, but have enough of an edge that they'd carve up your couch. He even dips into some warm ambient on both "Colorseries Cocoa B (cd edit)" and "Colorseries Cocoa Unreleased (cd edit)," which are nice texturally, but don't really offer up any new ideas.

As mentioned above, Colorseries is a bit of a throwback release in many ways. It's minimal techno with a touch of trance music, exploring angles from unabashed crowd-pleasers to retreaded ambience. It's not groundbreaking, but if you're looking for a bit of a fix in this area, this ten track, seventy minute album should suffice.

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2008-01-24 21:18:19