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Ulas Koca, better known by his stage name Surrender!, has just released his debut self-titled album via fledgling label La Bombe. We recently interviewed the Turkish producer and he admitted to us that he made his album without any proper speakers. “I don’t have any hardware synths, I don’t even have any monitors”.

It sounds different, sure, but it adds to the whole texture of the album. You’re treated to veritable smorgasbord of influences within the first few tracks. There’s the sci-fi soundscapes of ‘Volute’; the doughy italo synths of ’Ab Aeterno‘; and the imposing French house of ‘Masque’. As all albums should, it tries to take you on a voyage. But you can’t help but feel Surrender! gets a bit lost sometimes. That’s not to say there aren’t standout tracks – there are, and plenty. But it just doesn’t seem to flow quite as well as you might think it would. For us, this album should have taken a less is more approach when choosing the right amount of tracks. It just feels like it’s not quite as succinct and to the point as it should have been.

Once you hit the halfway mark you get to the first of his vocal collaborations with Jhameel – basically it sounds like a Justin Timberlake demo – whether that’s a good thing we’re not sure. Alongside that you’ve got ‘Fast Days’ which is an absolute gem, essentially sounding like Daft Punk conducting an orchestra. The songs begin to get shorter and shorter and it wouldn’t be an unfair criticism to say that some of them are more ideas than full blown songs; ‘S.M.A.S.H.’ being a prime example. The majority of the second half of the CD picks up, once again, with a full-on futuristic French electro attack in the shape of ‘Locate,’ ‘Over and Out’ and ‘Conflicted’.

There’s no doubt that Surrender has bags of talent. But, the overall feeling you get from Surrender’s! debut is it is just a bit too complex, a bit too cluttered – maybe that’s us being super-picky. But if it was a bit shorter and to the point – it would have had far more impact. It’s a great album, there’s no doubt, but rather annoyingly it’s not brilliant, and it probably should have been.

HBF 3.5/5

Buy it here–>> http://www.beatport.com/release/surrender!/976246

Andrew Rafter

Andrew Rafter is the editor and founder of Harder Blogger Faster.