'As Above So Below' is the brilliant new album by Soccer96, the synth and drums duo of Danalogue [Dan Leavers] and Betamax [Max Hallett] who transmit epic synth-scapes over poly-rhythmic drums and infectious dance grooves in a brutal cocktail of tight electronica and the spontaneous energy of improvisation.
The duo, most known as being two thirds of The Comet Is Coming [with Shabaka Hutchings], currently to be heard whipping up a cosmic storm on their recent acclaimed album 'Channel The Spirits' [Leaf], also collaborate with a huge array of talent. Leavers is currently playing live and recording with Henry Wu, Scratcha DVA, Simbad and Rozi Plain as well as finding time to produce albums by Flamingods, Snapped Ankles and Ibibio Sound Machine. He also plays sax in The Archie Bronson Outfit. Hallett, also a member of groups Super Best Friends Club and Hot Head Show, has played drums with the likes of Sons Of Kemet, Melt Yourself Down, Boredoms, Yussef Kamaal & Nitin Sawney.
'As Above So Below' is their second album and is the result of ongoing experiments in various studios over a four-year period including the Total Refreshment Centre in Dalston [with Capitol K] and at Slowfoot label boss Frank Byng's Snorkel Studios in Forest Hill [Byng also contributes percussion to one track]. Recorded using old-school analogue methods, their intention was, partly inspired by Eno's philosophy of 'using the studio as an instrument', to allow the processing of sound to become part of the compositional process whilst embracing Miles Davis' idea of tracks being 'in a state of becoming', a captured moment in time - in their words… "…to allow ourselves to make music as a game, a beautiful, nonsensical voyage into serendipity."
The album title is taken from an ancient hermetic phrase, meaning "That which is above is the same as that which is below"… macrocosm is the same as microcosm and vice versa and only by understanding one can one understand the other. Whilst loosely exploring ideas related to the title, album is rooted in the timeless human endeavor to reach out beyond everyday existence, in search of dream states and altered states of consciousness…“Our aim was to monitor the effects on the conscious mind when accelerating musical elements at great velocities into high energy collisions. We took specific genre plasm and begun to create sonic compounds with completely alien properties. Avant-garde, hip hop, electronic, pop, prog, jazz and psychedelic particles have been mixed together at an atomic level."
With influences ranging from groups like Can, This Heat, 23 Skidoo and Silver Apples, for their bold approach to improvised composition and recording processes, to the more recent experimentation of artists like Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Gaslamp Killer and Zombie Zombie, the band deliver a dazzling and lysergic blend of jazz, prog and electronica.
"Soccer96 is a duo that attempts sonic time travel, and it works - they could play anywhere from the era of liquid light shows to the noughties, without ever being too out of place." [The Quietus]
"Drawing on influences like Can, This Heat and Flying Lotus, ‘As Above So Below’ is submerged in old school analogue waters, sparkling with experimental composition as one track flows effortlessly to the next… …an ambitious and impressive album of diverse and gratifying inputs." [Electronic Sound Magazine]
"A phenomenal body of recorded music that combines poly-rhythmic percussion with lively dance tropes." [XLR8R]
"Gorgeous retro-futurism with a slight Animal Collective twinge" [Clash Magazine]
"The synth-heavy duo have got a new LP on the way and if it's anywhere near as good as their previous releases then we can guarantee you're in for a treat. And hey, after another dismal England performance, it's nice to be reminded that soccer isn't all bad." [Thump]
"As Above So Below is a dazzler, a collection of loose-fit grooves which pack epic ambitions and energetic intentions into the confines of smartly sculpted soundscapes…They quote Brian Eno and Miles Davis as influences, but the fierce fever blowing up on tracks like The Swamp, Spirit Wobble and Between the Whole And the Void provide new punctuation in the lines between jazz, electronica and rock….An album for true adventure-seekers." [4/5 Irish Times]
"Dizzying, massive synths meet hypnotic, swirling drums and spare vocal sounds, all weaved seamlessly between moods and grooves and tracks. It's big." [London In Stereo]
"Soccer96 – pop futurists weaving together Krautrock, G-funk and synthpop into something bold and beautiful" [Redbull]
"Chiptune, broken beat, synthwave… You name a sub-category of modern electronica and it’s somewhere here… …Space it appears remains very much the place." [Record Collector]
"A majestically grooving mix of electro-indie and a South London carnival sound system from the UK duo." [The Independent Playlist]
Written, performed and produced by Danalogue and Betamax
Shabaka Hutchings - saxophone 
Lexus Blondin -fx and claptrap 
Frank Byng - berimbau, percussion 
Swann Hunter - bass guitar 
Soccer96 - Megadrive Lamborghini
Soccer96 - Up and Down