Send me your track


Alland Byallo - Brick by Brick


I have to admit that when I hear the words San Francisco and dance music mixed together, I usually recoil, wincing. The city has a reputation for producing anodyne tech-house that reflects the summery climate it basks in all year round, slick and well-produced material that unfortunately has little in the way of bite and soul.

Byallo has found his music being released on European labels such as the respected Liebe Detail, but although he’s been releasing music since 2004, this is his first album. First indications are that it follows that aforementioned trend, as opening track “Ring in the Dead” fails to escape from the sort of faintly narcotic melodic flourishes that are so popular with producers right now, concentrating on trying to build a rhythmic momentum that apart from a distracting vocal narrative does little to inspire. Sadly, “Borderline” continues in the same vein, offering up a forgettable trip up a tech-house cul-de-sac.

Fortunately he rescues matters somewhat with the eerie “Rarebird”, forgoing those forgettable tech-house phrases with more European touches that reminded me of Pepe Bradock. It’s organic-sounding and hints at a more experimental side. Similarly, “Picture Heaven” delves more into abstraction, but could have done with being a little shorter than 8 minutes. “The Hello Track” edges back to more traditional tech-house, although is redeemed by a pulsating lead melody. Elsewhere however, it’s difficult to escape the fact that we are faced with the fact that isolation is no longer possible in dance music, unless one is totally prepared to cut oneself off from communication. There is little to separate Byallo’s work from hundreds other tech-house albums that seem to clog up the world of dance music at the moment, and that seems a little staggering when we consider that producers are making this sort of stuff all over the world. It’s a damning case for the fact that technology can be a bad thing.

Toby Frith

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