Oct 2013 24

TKR - Highway PatrolTKR
Category: Dubstep / Electronica
Album: Highway Patrol
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: Bogged down by the inherent limitations of lounge groove and the lack of commitment to overcome them, Highway Patrol is as inoffensive as it is forgettable.


Germany’s Thomas Schwarz, since launching his career at the down of the ‘90s and the time of a slow decline of mainstream popularity of his chosen drum & bass aesthetic, found himself reinvented in the spirit of the fluctuating rhythms of dubstep and the mellow groove of chill-out electronica. His newest release, Highway Patrol is strangely devoid of the propelling, high octane beats that the title might suggest to a susceptible listener, and therein lies its unexpected weakness.

Through its rather exhausting length of almost 80 minutes, TKR never hides his infatuation with intertwining melodies and deliberately paced beats, but the sum of all of the beloved elements is outweighed by the challenging dynamic that lets Highway Patrol settle within the comfort zone of scattered vocals and samples, jittery synths, and sudden plucks that dominate compositions like “I Know,” “Get the Funk,” or “Fusion.” As such, the tracks are rendered into totally acceptable ambient material, but only occasionally inspired enough to sink into and scrutinize. Most of them will harmlessly cross through the listener’s auditory nerves, but once past the so called ventral cochlear nucleus, sounds are sure to scatter and fade with only the faintest memory of crisp drum lines left to ponder. Ironically, it is the focused and proficient production that lets most of the tracks slip away so easily and with every composition so efficiently mutating into the next, TKR’s music plays out in the uniformed manner of a DJ set. Even the few standout songs, on which some chances are taken and possibilities are explored, inevitably gel with the monolithic structure of the album, leaving the promising underwater bleeps of “Nautilus” and the echoing textures of “Dancing with the Moonlight” in the grasp of bigger and duller concepts.

For awhile, the slowly sizzling chill-out of Highway Patrol might appeal to the broad demographic of dubstep enthusiasts. Alas, with no material that could punctuate the uneventful groove, the album’s mellow current that washes the listener never gains enough momentum to sweep you away and ultimately puts in question its purpose and genre deliberation.
Track list:

  1. In the Midnight
  2. Lost in Music
  3. I Know
  4. Get the Funk
  5. Skyrider
  6. Highway Patrol
  7. Soul
  8. Dancing with the Moonlight
  9. Your Secret
  10. No Lie
  11. Fusion
  12. Mysteries
  13. Tell Me
  14. Nautilus

TKR Website http://www.tkr-art.net
TKR MySpace http://www.myspace.com/tkr82
TKR Facebook http://www.facebook.com/tkrart
TKR Twitter http://twitter.com/tkr_art
TKR SoundCloud http://www.soundcloud.com/tkr
NexGen Music Website http://www.nexgenmusicgroup.com
NexGen Music MySpace http://www.myspace.com/nexgenrecords
NexGen Music Facebook http://www.facebook.com/nexgenrecs
NexGen Music SoundCloud http://www.soundcloud.com/nexgenrecs
Damian Glowinkowski (DamienG)

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