"Atoms Apart" by PIXSID is a project that has been a year in the making; being the combination of the extraordinary talents of San Francisco based producer DJ Sid-The Apocalypze and Australian vocalist Marie Craven aka. Pixieguts. Despite the vast leagues of physical distance seperating the two, and the timespan spent producing the album, the overall sound is of something much, much more close and intimate. It is as if the two locked themselves in a studio for a few weeks surviving on stale bread and water, accompanied only by the burning passion for making music that would drive them either to insanity, or to produce a gem of an album.
The intimacy comes neither solely from Sid's lush, velvety rhythms and textures - complete with gorgeous vinyl crackle, brass sections, sounds found in nature, jazzy drums, and bass like slipping into a warm bath - nor solely from Marie's universally-acknowledged crystal clear, enchanting and seductive voice, but rather from a unique blend of the two. To me it is akin to a salad dressing of oil and vinegar. Both are good ingredients on their own with distinct uses, yet as part of the dressing you couldn't imagine one without the other.
The style they have chosen is trip-hop, or rather, the style seems to have chosen them. The album is very natural and flowing, indicating a very smooth sense of spontaneous improvisation, again as if they just walked into a studio together and music flowed forth, not heeding any rules; as if it just became what it is of its own accord. Yet in the year-long production and taking into account professional mastering by Canada's Crimson Death, every single beat and phrase sits absolutely perfectly in the mix. Constant variation and evolution keeps the listener engaged whilst retaining a strong sense of continuity. It is the attention to detail in this ever-changing scenery that elevates the album into equal steading with trip-hop legends such as Portishead and Massive Attack.
Simply put, if you want to get someone into bed put this album on. Not only for its veneer of sexy, smooth, and silky atmospherics, but for its ability to alter your mood, no matter how ratshit or anxious you feel, into warmth and comfort.
Soulful music made by masters of their craft. Intimate and close. Pure sex.
Available in physical form from cdbaby.
High-quality downloads from Bandcamp.
And preview the album here.