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Sep 13, 2022

Wrapping my brain around the science of sound sometimes feels like a lesson in futility. I mean, is 12-bit really worse than 16-bit? Shit, the SoundGuys say, “Surprisingly, 12 bits is probably enough for a decent sounding music master and to cater to the dynamic range of most listening environments.” That leads me to believe that most of us can’t tell the difference in sound quality of a 1986 SP-1200. The fact that Rossum has reissued that original 12-bit drum machine model to its first coveted design says more about beat masters seeking a type of sound rather than being too concerned with quality degradation or quantization noise. Thankfully, on Joe Cain’s Biorhythms we get the best of the old and the new.

You can’t be sure how much an SP-1200 lays the foundation on Biorhythms, but we do know it was in his arsenal on previous work with the Armed Dukes. The releases under that moniker showcased Cain’s ability for perfectly subdued boom bap. Trident was a success with its heady synth layering over those low bpm melodies. It isn’t hard to understand how his influence on those collaborative works would transition to his current solo creation. Fortunately for us, we can hear that he doesn’t stray too far from the past on his first, full length release, Biorhythms.

In January, Joe gave us a taste on Rounds of what to expect for this latest collection. And we are lucky that he didn’t duplicate any of those quality tracks on Bio. I must admit, I sometimes have reservations that on some beat collections you find yourself wishing for more as each track may feel repetitive or just a regurgitation of a particular sound. But on Biorhythms, each new track stands on its own and we hear a breadth and scale of diversity that is always refreshing in its delivery. It’s this musical mindfulness that will bring you back time and time again to hear these well thought out cuts, even if they are short in duration.

  1. Intro
  2. Tritonic
  3. Speemax
  4. Interlude
  5. Pattern Up
  6. Nex Skit
  7. Metamorphosis
  8. Cycles
  9. 83
  10. Paxin
  11. Analogue Petrol
  12. Reprise
  13. Deja Vu
  14. Clocked
  15. Intermission
  16. One Two
  17. Nottingwood
  18. Hot Knives
  19. Sketch
  20. Limitations

Listen here.

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