Hailing from the former Yugoslavian country of Montenegro, which lies in Southeast Europe next to Bosnia and Kosovo, the electro project Optimus Prime is the product of producer Andrej Nedeljkovic. Formed in 2008, Optimus Prime had collaborated with numerous artists on the Underground Alliance label compilations and other group projects before releasing his own Infection in 2011. Infection serves up a variety of flavors of progressive beats and a spirit of exploration reminiscent of early Orbital or Prodigy (minus the vocals). The track “Mickey Rourke” features crunchy drum & bass loops and a sick eastern sounding synth lead. “Flux Frustrator” presents a similar idea, but with a more downbeat urban groove. “Hive” drips with in-your-face attitude accented by grungy looped guitars and insect noises. This solid sounding LP is for the most part made up of instrumentals; however, standout tracks like “Fake Reflections” feature vocal cutups, and “Walls” and “Broomsticks & Bitches” feature actual guest female vocals by Effluence. The latter are two of the LP’s highlights, as “Walls” features skillfully programmed breakbeats and a trippy poem by Effluence. It’s a winning combination that Optimus Prime thankfully doesn’t overuse; instead, they switch up the pace with the glitchy, spaced out grooves of “9 Circle Pursuit.” The track “Visions of Ancestors” grabs the listener with chopped up Japanese movie samples and a relentless flurry of drum breaks and analog warbling. “Walk Away” and “Rizing of Buddah” feature the harsh vocal styling of Ray Koefoed, whose rage fuelled anarchistic rapping on the latter track seems a bit out of place because of its political lyrics. “Walk Away” is more subdued and fits in better with the rest of the LP.
Infection is labeled as collection of singles, and if listened to in chronological order, there does seem to be some definite development between the first and last tracks. On “Lobotoija” for example, although the production is solid, the track tends to linger too long in the groove without much alteration. After hearing the same loop repeat for eight measures, you automatically start to tune out. On the other hand, if you’re looking for thought provoking background music, the repetition could be just what you need. Towards the middle of the LP, more changeups and breaks definitely keep the listener paying attention. This is a good sign that Optimus Prime is growing as a producer and has a lot of tricks up his sleeve for the future. If you’ve already got too much four-on-the-floor club music and you need a break from the careless off-kilter wobble of dubstep, throw some Infection into your playlist to break it up a bit. The tracks will fit nicely alongside either genre or mix well into your DJ set. Way too good to be a free download.
Optimus Prime Website http://optimusprimex.blogspot.com
Optimus Prime MySpace http://www.myspace.com/optimusprimeyu
Optimus Prime Facebook https://www.facebook.com/optimusprimeoptimus
Optimus Prime Soundcloud http://soundcloud.com/optimus-prime-2
Underground Alliance Records Website http://undergroundallianceexyu.blogspot.com
Underground Alliance Records Bandcamp http://undergroundalliancerecords.bandcamp.com
Lüke Haughwout (Mechanical_Harvest)