The Netherlands’ Groove label, perhaps the premiere label for sequencer-heavy electronic music, has been on quite the roll lately, releasing and distributing a number of albums by newcomers and veterans alike. This batch of releases presents the label’s stylistic range from ambient/drift electronic music through Berlin school and borderline techno styles.
John Lakveet collaborated with Dom F. Scab on Silent Mars, and one could say he is a kindred spirit of sorts in the sequencer field (his last album was entitled Sequentiagite). Like Scab, Lakveet doesn’t go for the obvious space concepts (don’t worry, we’ll get to those), EPI(K)VS seems oriented to a Roman or Greek concept circa 202 AD, although one would be hard pressed to define it from the CD itself. While Scab’s latest stuck mostly to sequencers and their interplay, Lakveet includes plenty of atmospheric drift sections to break things up, and while Lakveet hasn’t assimilated his influences as fully as Scab has, he has come up with an appropriate ebb and flow for the musical energy. One can’t help but admire musicians in this style, attempting for distinction in a field still entirely dominated by the Berlin pioneers. It brings up the question of just how originality rears its head in a genre so intensely tied to a few artists.
Clearly Euro-electronic is striving to surpass its influences while attempting to evoke the same sort of emotion and impact these same influences did for the new crop of artists. And really there is no label more intrepid than Groove where this is concerned.