Estelle Asmodelle is an electronica artist and performer hailing from New South Wales, Australia. Formerly a dancer, she became involved in electronic music whilst living in Japan in the early 90’s. She has now released seven CDs of music and has composed for film soundtracks, art installations and dance parties. Her music spans several sub genres including trance, house, chillout/ambient and even experimental electronica. She was the winner of Best Instrumental Music Video in 2012, awarded by the Australian Independent Music Video Awards.
This album, Grooveatropolis, consists of ten tracks which range in their style and length, averaging out around the six minute mark. The album opener If You Knew is a near seven minute trance track, built around a pounding four to the floor kick and catchy bassline. Over this, Asmodelle weaves synth lines in and out of the track, some which double the bassline and some for rhythmic effect. It’s a fine start and at a perfect tempo for dancing.
Second track Is This Just A Dream is an uptempo house number with funky, syncopated percussion and spoken word vocals from Asmodelle, which act as a good hook. Over this is a simple, jazzy chord progression underpinned by a one note bassline and pulsing synth melodies/rhythms. Come With Me, track three, is slightly more aggressive and darker in sound with a moody rising bassline and eerie synth lines, also incorporating a spoken word hook.
Fourth track Groove Al Dente is somewhere between trance and house, with a high synth melody working in tandem with the bassline. It features several different sections, with a drop section around the minute mark. It adds a catchy EDM lead synth riff around the second minute, which drops out to then later returns for the last two minutes of the track, along with various atmospheric melodies that add to the texture.
All Tranced Up is, as the title suggests, another trance track. It has a faster tempo than the rest, around 140-150BPM, which gives it a sense of urgency and intensity. I loved the lead synth riff which is more musical and melodic than most EDM you hear. It’s also the longest track on the album at over eight minutes. Your Storybook World is also trance, with some complex layering of synths and a nice piano melody that enters briefly. A more mellow track than the last.
Track seven, I’m Fractured, also has a laid back feel, featuring some spacey ambient style synths melding with more traditional trance melodies. Eighth track Your Suspected returns to the fast tempo of All Tranced Up, though this one is somewhere between trance and house, becoming more house as the tracks goes on. I liked the subtle vocoder vocals used very sparsely.
Taking Chances is darker sounding, with a complicated rhythm and moody bassline as well as some excellent synth lines that brought to mind harder-edged electronica like The Prodigy. The amusingly titled Prance Like A Superstar closes the album and its a fine way to finish. The texture builds gradually throughout and would sound great towards the end of the evening in a nightclub.
Overall, this is a very good album of electronica music that showcases Asmodelle’s talent for writing and producing excellent trance and house tracks that are perfect for the dancefloor. Although they are all instrumentals, Asmodelle creates variety through tempo, texture and style from track to track making it good just for listening as well as ideal club tracks. I’d expect her rise to major success to continue with this release.
Verdict: 8.2 out of 10