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Welcome to Rob Hakimian’s website, collecting together the best of his writing from over the years.



Cavern Of Anti-Matter -

Void Beats / Invocation Trex


It’s been over 8 years since Stereolab released a proper studio album, and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be getting back together too soon. This is a huge sadness to fans like me who find their vibrant, energetic and devilishly creative alt-synth-rock-pop sound to be one of the best in music history. Fortunately, we have Cavern Of Anti-Matter, the new project from Stereolab co-leader Tim Gane. Although missing a voice as fierce as Laetitia Sadier, Cavern Of Anti-Matter makes up for it in spades by just going hell-for-leather on the intricacies and layers of the analogue synth sounds they build up into multi-faceted futuristic ambient-electronic-rock songs.

Void Beats / Invocation Trex starts off with the 13-minute “Tardis Cymbals,” a relatively slow-paced number that fully justifies its extended running length.It feels like its slowly acclimatising the listener to this new atmosphere; bubbles of sound ascend around you, whooshes flash across the palette as the pressure struggles to equalise, and always beneath there is the motoric percussion ensuring that progress never falters. Once the opening track has settled you in, Cavern take you on a psychedelic tour of frantic situations, painted in neon. A lot of the album feels like a late-night car chase, or a soundtrack to the escape from a zombie hoard. The lack of vocals on the majority of the tracks is used to their advantage, as they can flick around between tones with ease. Across the album they skim through moods with aplomb. There’s scientific euphoria in “Blowing my nose under close observation,” to the cold and frantic jaunt of “Insect Fear,” into a warm melodic romp of “Melody In High Feedback Tones” – and then straight after you’re plummeted into spiraling paranoia of “Hi Hats Bring The Hiss.”

The songs might seem like skeletal structures at first, lacking a voice to cling to (although Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox and Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom both make fantastic guest vocal spots), but the organic way in which these songs manifest themselves through pristine and chewy synthesizer abstractions is really a marvel. Even without vocals the songs are so well tuned that there are undoubtedly moments of tension and release, parts where you’ll sing along to the melodies as though they’re choruses, and certainly parts where you’ll just lose yourself in the heady mesh of colourful ideas suddenly winding their way around your mind.

The album stretches to 72 minutes, which might seem like a slog, and perhaps will be for a lot of people. However, if you, like me, are entertained by the joyous aural products of interconnecting analogue synth melodies then Void Beats / Invocation Trex will keep you locked in throughout.


Below you can see my top 50 albums of the year list.

[Hint: Click the album cover above to download this album]

50| Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - EARS
49| Thee Oh Sees - A Weird Exits
48| Daughter - Not To Disappear
47| The Avalanches - Wildflower
46| Beyonce - Lemonade
45| Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
44| Gold Panda - Good Luck and Do Your Best
43| James Blake - The Colour In Anything
42| Lambchop - FLOTUS
41| Ty Segall - Emotional Mugger
40| Nothing - Tired Of Tomorrow
39| Camp Cope - Camp Cope
38| Cymbals Eat Guitars - Pretty Years
37| Aphex Twin - Cheetah EP
36| Mary Lattimore - At The Dam
35| Woods - City Sun Eater In The River Of Light
34| White Lung - Paradise
33| Solange - A Seat At The Table
32| Wild Beasts - Boy King
31| Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition
30| Marissa Nadler - Strangers
29| Weyes Blood - Front Row Seat To Earth
28| Kevin Morby - Singing Saw
27| Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.
26| Whitney - Light Upon The Lake
25| Kedr Livanskiy - January Sun
24| Frankie Cosmos - Next Thing
23| Steve Gunn - Eyes On The Lines
22| Pantha du Prince - The Triad
21| Cass McCombs - Mangy Love
20| Cavern of Anti-Matter - void beats/invocation trex
19| Olga Bell - Tempo
18| Chairlift - Moth
17| Mitski - Puberty 2
16| Anderson .Paak - Malibu
15| Underworld - Barbara, Barbara we face a shining future
14| Xenia Rubinos - Black Terry Cat
13| Savages - Adore Life
12| DIIV - Is The Is Are
11| Frank Ocean - Blonde
10| Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch
09| MONEY - Suicide Songs
08| Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
07| A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service
06| Nicolas Jaar - Sirens
05| Angel Olsen - My Woman
04| Parquet Courts - Human Performance
03| Preoccupations - Preoccupations
02| ANOHNI - Hopelessness
01| Blood Orange - Freetown Sound