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Max Cue & Travis MacDonald – Bending Time (Agara Music)

Travis MacDonald’s Agara Music has always featured some unique collaborations over the course of the labels fourteen releases. It certainly makes the releases standout from the pack as it’s always a cool thing to see what happens when two great studio minds come together for a production. One of my favourite colabs on the label was from Travis and Max Cue who delivered two tracks for their ‘Dominion’ release from September of last year. So it goes without saying that I was quite pleased when the latest Agara Music promo was uploaded to the site and it was a follow-up EP from Travis and Max. It would be extremely difficult to top the technical beauty of their ‘Dominion’ release but their newest offering entitled ‘Bending Time’ may just have done it.

The lead track on the EP is a vocal cut and it features Yvonne who I haven’t heard of before but judging by the quality of her voice I would guess I will be hearing more in the future. The cool thing here is it’s an electronica cut which when you’re used to listening to and reviewing club oriented material can be a breath of fresh air. Both Travis and Max are extremely technically proficient in the studio. Travis’ mastering expertise really shows in his productions as every last detail seems to be meticulously processed and it certainly is on ‘Bending Time’. The layers of sweeping electronics combined with warm yet hauntingly ominous pads and Yvonne’s angelic sounding voice is absolutely magic. It’s one of the most emotionally griping pieces of electronica I’ve heard in quite some time. I find that generally a lot of stuff that falls in the glitchier, super processed electronica realm comes off as very cold and unemotional but this is really an exception. Outstanding stuff from Travis and Max that deserves to be listened to several times over.

The companion piece ‘Lights & Shadows’ finds Travis and Max going for a more traditional melodic techno piece that carries some very unique moments in its own right. Again the emotion that these two seem to always come up with when they collaborate is the real star here. The brooding, hypnotic wave of chord changes and quirky electronic accents work in perfect unison for the ultimate alliance of bliss. The semi-warped modulation which dominates the second half is just the icing on the cake that makes for the perfect conclusion. Two fabulous compositions from Travis and Max and I do hope they work together much more in the future. Highly Recommended.

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