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Balance of the Force

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Album Review

Though it comes from a previously unheard producer, Balance of the Force certainly begins on a high note, with the down-tempo soul of "Defenceless." While Waldeck himself takes the keyboards (both electric and standard piano), the deep groove of what sounds like a live drum set frames the yearning vocals of Joy Malcolm. It's that rare thing in electronic circles: the perfect integration of vocal track and production, with both pulling equal weight to set the mood. Amidst a beautiful, effortless transition, Waldeck moves on to "Spy Like an Angel," with male vocalist Brian Amos doing much the same as Malcolm did one track earlier. Either of these voices appears on all but two of the tracks here, the exceptions being the eerie, cinematic instrumentals "Slaapwagen" and "Moon." Fellow downbeat maestros Kruder & Dorfmeister help out on production for the sublime "Aquarius," and except for the slight reliance on a previously trademarked sound, Balance of the Force stands as one of the most quietly beautiful records of vocal trip-hop — just slightly behind masterpieces like Portishead's Dummy and Massive Attack's Mezzanine.

Biography

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The act known as Waldeck is the work of one Klaus Waldeck, a producer for Vienna's Spray Records, home to work by Kruder & Dorfmeister and Count Basic. Waldeck's work is similar earthy downtempo, though many of his productions reflect the recruitment of vocalists, similar to Massive Attack. After contributing a track to the Spray compilation The Eclectic Sound of Vienna, Waldeck released his debut full-length Balance of the Force in 1999. Along with an American distribution deal through E-Magine,...
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Balance of the Force, Waldeck
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