COD3 QR is an electronic music label with a clear directive: maintain a cleansed palette for listeners by releasing music without artist names attached. Save for knowing the stylings will be skewed towards underground club stylings, those behind COD3 QR will remain anonymous while the authors of each track will only be identified by their code name with their real identities out of the public domain for at least the first months after each release - a bold move.
Therefore, the first trio of tracks on COD3 QR 001 really are judged on no more than what is placed in front of us: ‘Electro’ by 564947, ‘Time Out’ by 534147 and ‘Strange Days’ by 4A4142. Given the label’s philosophy is phrased as ‘music to arouse curiosity’, these selections, combined with the anonymity, certainly do that.
The A-side track ‘Electro’ carries with it a weight of expectation, setting the tone for COD3 QR’s output and placed under the microscope even more because there’s no artist name hanging in front of it to cloud perceptions. ‘Electro’ very much wears its heart on its sleeve as the word ‘electro’ echoes throughout as the beat weaves and winds around it along with a high pitch alternating bleep. At its peak, ‘Electro’ explodes into life with a snarl, though the vocoded voice might start to annoy on repeat listens.
COD3 QR’s strategy deserves praise and makes for a refreshing approach to introducing electronic music to the public domain.
The first B-side, ‘Time Out’, is a more direct techno affair that gentle pummels along with a pan-pipe-esque melody and dramatic strings for a blast of energy at the end. Like ‘Electro’, the second B-side - ‘Strange Days’ - is brooding with a soft, deep bassline interjected with what sounds like a sonic drill hard at work. There’s a funky edge to this slow-burner that keeps drawing you in to its spell. The B-sides deliver on the curious side of COD3 QR’s mantra where ‘Electro’ feels more of an anthemic offering, providing an intrepid first release from this label.
What will perhaps be most interesting is how the response to these individual tracks might change in the often-shallow world of music where a known or unknown ‘name’ attached to a composition can have greater sway over its perception than the music itself. Right now, COD3 QR’s strategy deserves praise and makes for a refreshing approach to introducing electronic music to the public domain.