by Andrew Duke

Solvent's sophomore album is not harder, faster, or more intricate than'98's selftitled debut--and that's just how Jason Amm likes it. "A lot of electronic artists get the impression they have to one-up themselves every time," Toronto's Amm says. " That kind of thing is not important to me."

Amm forms 50% of the duo behind the Suction label and 100% of the humanity behind the machines of Solvent. What is important to him are the songs themselves. "I have a pop song mentality, so it's more about perfecting the craft of the pop song, better arranging my tracks, and creating stronger melodies, as opposed to getting more involved in the technology. I'm aiming at perfecting the pop song." And that's the refreshing result heard here.

Yes, this is 1999's electronic music, but it's not frantic drill n bass or experimentalism for the sake of it. This is electronic music brimming with vigor, contemplative one moment, but bold and cheerful the next. Still, Amm's music often gets lazily lumped into the IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) camp, and that doesn't make him happy. "That stuff is really leaving me cold now because I really do need melodies and structures and the things that came from the pop sensibility. I like things that are catchy and direct; I'm not really into abstraction."

There are a variety of moods and tempos on this full length, but Amm ensures there's always something memorable lurking at the heart of each composition. It's a lesson learned from the techno pop and industrial dance that was the soundtrack of his youth. "Hearing electronic listening music like Aphex Twin and Autechre was like a revelation and it kickstarted me into taking music-making more seriously. But once I started getting involved in it, my roots started showing through. I grew up listening to stuff like Depeche Mode and Soft Cell because that was the most electronic stuff I could find. That's where I started and that's where I hope to head in the future."

Solvently One Listens is out now on Suction. A RealAudio interview with Solvent will appear on a future edition of Andrew Duke's In The Mix.

Solvent discography (current and forthcoming):


Solvent-Solvent (CAN Suction/1998)
Solvent-Solvently One Listens (CAN Suction/1999)

shared releases:

Suction 001 split 12" with Lowfish 1997
Suction 3.4 split 12" with Lowfish 1999
Suction 005 split 7" with D'Arcangelo 1999
City Centre Offices (Block 003) split 7" with Lowfish 1999

compilation appearances:

Lo Recordings. LoEP 07 / LoCD 07 Altered States Of America promo 12"/CD 1997 solvent: half
    eaten drum machine
Spelunk. SPR002 The Anti-Static EP 12" 1998 solvent: bugs are in every room
Serotonin SER-014 Regenerate 2 X 12"/CD 1999 solvent: i'm ok you're ok
Serotonin SER-015 Infinity One Over 12" release date tba solvent: [three untitled loops]


Alien8 Recordings ALIENCD15 David Kristian--Woodworking: Cricklewood Remixes CD 1999
    solvent remix: ciowderlock
Vinyl Communications. Kid 606--Kid 606 And Friends 2 X CD release date tba solvent remix:
    catstep (half-eaten by solvent)
Reckankreuzungsklankewerkzeuge RKK-013 RKK-13: RKK-0 Mutations 2 X 12"/CD release
   date tba solvent remix: attention:solvent'sthreeohthreemix
Morr Music title tba 2 X 12"/CD release date tba solvent: [tba - console remix] solvent remix: [tba
    - console track] solvent: [tba]

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