Ardb – Mind Drift EP (Geodesic 001)

Reviewed By: Roger V.

Our latest musical journey here at Timeline Music finds us in the land of Romania, for a four tracker debut from a young DJ and label committed to proper deep electro. Bogdan Ardeleanu is his name, and he’s not completely new to the game, as he also belongs to the trio collaborative project Lisière Collectif. They specialise in minimal electronics and techno and DJ mixes, and have at least 8 EPs out spanning the last 5 years. Check them out for some nice audio wealth when you get a chance.

On the other hand, Ardb is Ardeleanu’s premier solo project, and the Geodesic label also makes a promising debut with this release ‘Ardb – Mind Drift EP’. And upon listening we had to give this a review here. It’s a great EP and Ardb certainly deserves the exposure for this project. There’s no gimmicks here, as Ardb carves his own signature electro style, although it takes subtle nods to aesthetics of sound that brings to mind artists like ERP or Versalife. Indeed, his sound focuses deeply on atmosphere and rolling electro rhythms with touches of acid; in addition to wonderful moments of beatless ambience at any moment during a track before bringing the bang back. Sounds like a perfect formula for what we like here; that real electronic music bringing like minded purveyors together across the hemispheres.

Ardb provides 3 original tracks for this EP with Reedale Rise finely contributing a remix for the fourth track. While, this EP has been out for about 2 weeks now exclusively on vynl, copies still remain, and in case you don’t know about it yet, we’re going to put it on your brain. Again this is deep electro we’ll be discussing here, the type that gives you that lift and sets the audio channels of your mind adrift.

The mental electro of Mind Drift begins with the title track, a rolling electro track that holds high quality from its opening moments and never slacks. Emotive and atmospheric synths along with robotic like stabs set sail over smooth 808 drum patterns initially. Soon subterranean like pads come in with the smoothest of transition setting up a moment for the track become near beatless, and introduce you to its semi dark atmosphere of emotive pads, and beautifully random 808 rimshots, claves, and handclaps. However when those 808 snares drop back in, so does a new friend; in the form of a rolling arpeggiated acid bassline that will help take your mind through space and time.

Its a medium paced electro track from here on out with moments of attack and decay in the tracks driving percussive rhythms courtesy of alternating hats, claves, and rimshots. Space bubbles and sci fi zaps make this affair surreal and elusive at times making nighttime a right time for this beauty to play. In fact play this in your next set and be that brave DJ who saved the day with plenty of dark atmospheric vibes to scare the posers away.

This one will appeal highly to fans of acid or ambient textured deep electro, and surely is a hell of an opening statement musically by Ardb. Mind Drift lives right up to its name, setting your mind free from the material world here with its flavorings of 808 schematics and deep atmosphere. Great work by Ardb and a track you might find yourself playing a few more times before you go on to the next track on this EP.

And surely you’ll be satisfied on Mind Drift EP’s next destination with Gamma Ray Burst, another fine electro track showcasing Ardb’s style that puts your deep and darkest electro needs first. A nice space filled arrangement of hats and synth pads set the initial tone followed by driving 808 kicks and electro snares. Its not long before the booming bassline drops in rolling fashion as hats shuffle along the tracks surface with 808 cowbells their guide posts. Arpeggiated 808 rimshots also alternate in and out with reverb clave stabs to add quite the lively flair and zest to the tracks rhythm. Meanwhile different characters of eerie and dark space vibe synths serenade the track with oozing deepness. There’s even an arpeggiated, and eerie high-pitched synth at the tracks peaks that complements perfectly with the tracks low frequency bassline, teleporting in and slowly out to an eventual memory in time.

Surely this is deep space tea for the ears, body, and mind. This is too good, so good that it has to end abruptly with no hints, it just stops as the track is jamming and climaxing like there is no end in sight, and you’re subconsciously lost in the groove. Brilliant design in the track. And you’ve had plenty of moments like this in life, mainly ethereal dreams where your only escape was to just stop. And that’s the case with ‘Gamma Ray Burst’ all the way until the last light drop. Open your mind, and leave the masses behind. Indeed Gamma Ray Burst will leave a smile in the darkest corners of your mind, and leave you wanting to play it back several more times- Don’t worry, it’s only a track. Great work again by Ardb, as he keeps us excited for the flip on side B.

And Side B kicks off with the last of 3 tracks by Ardb on this amazing EP. ‘Inversions’ is the name of the track, and rightfully so, as it is a delightful transposition from Side A into techno with electro textures that will make you equally groove and relax. Opening up the deep reversal of thought are lovely pads and bleeps of alien or robotic nature depending on your imagination, as punchy 808 kicks smoothly arrive to tap in underneath the lovely atmosphere for the purposes of your physical stimulation. Electronic drips of water prelude and accompany the drums that transition into sublayers beneath the kicks, as the track promptly reveals it’s identity as a cruising techno number with just the right amount of drive courtesy of its flowing deep bassline.

Emotive and blissful synth chords make their mark in a purification fashion, washing over the terrain of the track at carefully placed moments. And again, Ardb allows the listener to feel the ambience of Inversions, removing the drums shortly into the track as the surreal vibes set in right before dropping the kickdrums again. From there the atmosphere builds more in foundation, as synth chords fluctuate and modulate, and stabs of fine acid probe into your mind and elevate. Of course there are plenty of alternating rhythms in the track, sometimes allowing just the 808 kicks and atmosphere to display the magic, and at others we get 808 snare hits and breakdowns to satisfy our deep emotional habits. What makes this track so excellent, is it’s lush and spacey atmosphere; its music that sounds perfectly right at night, or when you’re ready to take that flight.

In either case, it makes space more than just an imaginary place as it serenades your audio channels with much grace. ‘Inversions’ has the punchy kickdrums of a smooth late night glide techno track, celestial atmosphere full of aquatic drips and robotic blips, and electro textures provided by perfectly placed 808 snare hits that come and go…indeed that’s what we call deep. Excellent taste by Ardb that clearly shows, and takes your mind wherever it wants to go. We’re also left quite intrigued by Ardb, as his display of skill suggests there are more moments of lush wonder and dark atmospheric vibes to come our way some day.

The Mind Drift EP culminates with the remix interpretation of ‘Inversions’ with the masterful Reedale Rise providing the machine communication. Like the original, it’s a techno and electro textured hybrid, colored by Reedale Rise’s signature of soulful deep synth sounds. Much of the original bassline melody remains in tact, however, Reedale adds in more 808 snare taps, and a faster rhythm to give this remix a true dancefloor attack. Reedale’s mix of Inversions comes in gracefully with punchy 808 kickdrums, modulated and robotic like percussion, and an interpretation of the original bassline, and is accented with synth like whistles scattering over the rhythm and groovy bassline like clouds that build up anticipation.

The pads make their landing next, and set your mind in travel mode on this lovely space trek. The driving rhythm and flowing techsoul keeps going and is accompanied with lively synth arpeggios that evolve in modulations and tone, surely good for the dancefloors and that introvert hubstation called home. You’ll love the breakdown a little after 2 minutes into the track as it temporarily morphs into a shuffling 808 electro snare filled pattern, bathed in dreamy chord stabs before transporting you once again back to the galaxy techno labs. Brilliant how this remix is envisioned even further near the end as the track peaks with synth strings of lush, paradisiacal flux. Top quality and great work by Reedale Rise. It’s what we’ve come to expect from Reedale Rise, but like always he adds in new sounds as he continues to build his arsenal of machine weapons.

The remix still comes with that space like quality, and some added dreamy aesthetics making the appeal of this remix quite magnetic, the type of listening experience you can really be absorbed into while opening the possibilities behind the beautiful bliss in your mind. In other words at home, or at the coolest DJ set you can’t go wrong with Reedale Rise’s touch on an already amazing track, as he uses his musical wizardry to make this a remix on a level of its own.

And wow, believe it or not that ends this wonderful EP, the Mind Drift EP. Surely you will want to go back through the tracks and re-enjoy the fine moments on this late night electro and techno space snack. Likewise, that’s what makes certain music stand out from others; there was a hell of a lot of vision put into this EP, that allows the smart mind to dream and imagine with every listen. At the same time, it’s not trying to do too much, but rather just right and this adds a high level of accessibility; plenty to access here from dark, spacey atmospheric dark sky vibes to lush outer space techno electro hybrids with dreamy aesthetics. You get all this, on Ardb’s 3 tracks and the Reedale Rise remix. To sum it up, it’s a great debut by Ardb, and so far one of this year’s best electro EPs. The ‘Mind Drift EP’ is also a sign of many more great moments to come on this exciting new Geodesic label and of course by Ardb.

We’re usually ahead of time here at Timeline, however Ardb’s Mind Drift has been out close to 2 weeks at the time of this writing; and luckily, it’s still in stock at some of the coolest plastic dealers’ record shops.

Well you know the deal now, and as your favorite emotional wellness coaches would say, “Be a winner, come out on top”, and give this gem of an EP several drops on your next DJ gig stops, as Ardb and Reedale Rise bring magic here that deserves big Props. ‘Mind Drift EP’ by Ardb available exclusively on 180g vynl now to make you wow. No time for sleeping.