Phantom Eels EP is the second installment from Specimen records, which is inspired by Jules Verne and the idea of a transcendent species, which represents manifestations from the unconscious as a magical force. A surreal adventure into the depths of the unknown; Phantom Eels takes us on an abyssal journey conjured by electronic soundscapes and dream worlds, formulated into rhythmic excursions, rendered in a fusion of electronic music styles from tech house, techno, electro, and dub.
This is the second project by Eugene Black, AKA Black Art Circus and kicks off with a punchy acid-infused tech-house mix of the title track Phantom Eels. Jelli Mix, (track 5) is more of a funk-driven melodic techno excursion with shuddering filters, organ stabs and keys, with a lush rhythmic bass dropping in and out of the mix. Electric Eel is a slow dub version of the title track as a final track to the EP. This mix has more of an ethereal feel drifting through ebbs and flows of reverberations and underwater currents; it makes for an early morning sleep inducer.
Back on board, we have the divine God Of The Machine... one of Detroit’s finest Derrick Thompson with a remix. A dense melodic Detroit pounder mixed with acidic motion, pristine stabs and splashes that move in and out of a series of drum-driven dives and textures, which can only be measured in fathoms.
Hijacker follows this up with more of an industrial feel with Jelly & Mashup another remix of the title track. Hijacker explores more of a visual techno soundtrack, such as predator eel down on a mysterious shipwreck moving in and out of dark waters and hidden compartments. There is a sense of deep-sea pressure in the movement, which retains a perfect sense of industrial motion, dub and even a melancholic sense of a lone searcher.
Jonra & eMachinery, two established musical technicians from out of Los Angeles, specializing in electronic-electro styled analog composition. Their sound is both unique and refined form of funky techno. Here they deliver just that with Humpback Eels, a remix of the title track. Infused with a repetitive vocal over high-powered driving baselines and solid drum patterns that retain a dubby feel with a mix of textures and acid key-lines that gives this EP a very special edge altogether.
Nils Hess is at the helm with Phantom Gulper the final remix on the EP, this is a lush deep and oceanic excursion of Phantom Eels. A melodic techno soundtrack, that continually builds from filtered arpeggios and stabs into a monumental underwater flight. This mix just leaves the listener in want of further aquatic discovery that pivots on the sensitivity of imagination.