The minimalistic take on IDM here is, if anything, a frank reminder of the power of subtlety and a delight to the ears at the same time.
Chad Mossholder’s Non-Site Specific is an icy take on a genre that thrives on cold abstraction. Coming from Artificial Music Machine, the second half of Twine (BiP_HOp, Ghostly International, Hefty, Komplott, Rope Swing Cities) proves that he has the chops to rival the best releases of 2014. Confidence is a part of what makes Non-Site Specific so compelling on a first listen, for Mossholder doesn’t mess around when it comes to the eccentric beats and cascading electronics.
First track “Fennel” carefully walks the line between complete IDM-like abstraction and a vast ambient landscape. The beat is consistent and, sometimes, even downright scary. Second track “Slope” builds on this particular idea in order to create glitched-out electronica that projects the stone cold image of a cyborg walking through frozen terrain. This kind of representation tends to project itself throughout Mossholder’s album. Even when he switches it up, as in track three “Framework,” the contours of an idea quickly reveals itself in the finest details. The work done here by Mossholder is that of a careful artisan, something that is notorious throughout Non-Site Specific.
How little he aims to impress is balanced by his capacity to craft an undeniable track. Much like Objekt, the game of abstraction—weird, untenable noises—Mossholder plays is a discrete one. By centering around one idea, he manages to deconstruct it to its core. Think of it this way, much like Steve Reich’s experiments in avant-garde electronica, what Mossholder wants to do is repeat an idea present in the track until its power is fully unraveled. The minimalistic take on IDM here is, if anything, a frank reminder of the power of subtlety and a delight to the ears at the same time.
By the end, even Richard Devine’s take on “Illuminated” feels inadequate, but functional. After the eleven tracks that Mossholder showcases on Non-Site Specific, not even Devine’s fine reworking (of an already beautiful track) can upstage Mossholder.
Non-Specific Site is available on Artificial Music Machine.