In Rotation :: Multi-view (August 2017)

In rotation for the past few weeks, this multi-view reveals the latest sonic landscape from five more talented musicians. Plenty of brittle, glitch, abstract, noisy, mechanical and bass-infused sounds with releases by Adam Jay, Aeon Waves, C_C, Min-Y-Llan, and Mr. Projectile.

Adam Jay :: Maxia Zeta (Detroit Underground)

Adam Jay (Southerland) continues to maximize melodic electro streams and extremes on Maxia Zeta for Detroit Underground. Classic 90s-era electronics and next-level electro visions are unearthed with relative ease. Adam Jay deserves extra credit for delivering a smooth album start to end that packs a punch from its rugged machined beats, raw bass distortion, melodic glitches, and driving dancefloor ready rhythms. Highlight “Distant Origin” elicits old-school throbbing bass that fans of Volsoc and Bass Kittens would enjoy for its basic rudiments. “Scanner” offers blips galore and a breakbeat fury, hard edge polyrhythms and acid undertones. “Triacus” also pushes similar terrain but does so in an expansive echo chamber. With Beeple behind its gorgeous artwork, Maxia Zeta stands out as an outstanding foray into abstract electro, breaks and definitive bass excursions.

Aeon Waves :: Obscure EP (Onset Audio)

Aeon Waves has a knack for surreal sound design meant for extraterrestrial and/or internal exploration. “Drowning In You,” perhaps the finest of the lot, takes the exploratory direction with its serene influx of punctuated drums, bass, and infectious female vocal strands. The balance of this extended player dives into more tranquilized paths. The title track dips through an atmospheric stream as drifting reversed tones and drones fade away peacefully. Similar world-sounds pervade on “When Time Stops,” a calming introspective retreat. “The Secret Garden,” perhaps meant for quiet sojourns through the mind’s eye, reveals subtle melodic details stretched through its five minute expanse. Obscure manages to elicit a tantalizing audio viewpoint with its natural musical hues.

C_C :: Abymes EP (Dataglitch)

France-based Eduardo Ribuyo continues to create with imploding electronic mayhem and visceral creativity. Still fresh, and in constant rotation is his recent Impedulo (Da Heard It!, 2017) album that was described as “nine tracks that ravage, ricochet, and syncopate their way through.” Abymes features six squelching tracks with a myriad of noisy and raw electro fragments. Not an unusual direction for the sound manipulator, it’s become second-nature to expect these eroded bleeps and broken beats busting through modular machine music with rumbling low-end appetizers. Mind-numbing, yet somehow contagious, Abymes features a push-pull effect. Where at times you’ll gravitate towards its developed and distorted rhythms, at other corners, the EP will test your patience. C_C achieves, once again, an experimental sonic smorgasbord that sculpts organized noise. Favorites include the erratic shapes of “Le Téméraire” and “L’Indomptable,” to the slow moving lava flows on “Le Vigilant.” Fans of the more robust side of Not Breathing and Meat Beat Manifesto should take note.

Min-Y-Llan :: Bodydrone The Remixes (Touched Music)

Ambient/Electronica alias of Welshman Martin Boulton—also known for the burgeoning Touched Music for MacMillan Cancer Support imprint—releases a massive remix assemblage for “Bodydrone.” 17 alterations, and not one out of place, it’s hard to imagine that this one track could exude such emotion—it simply does. SinQ takes the proverbial cake with bass wobbling aplenty and an Artificial Intelligence-era vibration. Darqhorse flickers by with rubbery, playful intonation and a video-game soundtrack infusion. Somehow, Min-Y-Llan was able to create stems that could venture into far off world’s. “Bodydrone” doesn’t exhaust or fade into oblivion—its original synaptic pulse and emotive ventricle​ has re-creative appeal. Monoform delivers a leftfield minimal techno flare, its subtle squeak and harmony-build is vibrant and intoxicating. Tom Roberts’ manifestation is casual bliss—with chilled sound design and layers upon layers of clip-hop versus slow moving techno forms. Elsewhere, tranquilized electronic fields are plowed with artists like E M P T Y delving into R2-D2 bleeps and eroded percussion. Atmospheric pressure is relieved via Fractal Solace, perhaps the most apt moniker to describe the sonic transformation of “Bodydrone.” Here we have a splendid foray into pure electronic listening music. At times turbulent and corrosive, this one-track remix compilation retains its emotional and beautifully impacting harmony. A myriad of IDM extractions and distractions leaves this release at the top of our Best of 2017 list.

Mr. Projectile :: Phoenix (Self-Released)

Portland, Oregon-based Matthew Arnold carved a name for himself years ago in what I like to call IDM’s highlight years (early 00s) for labels like Toytronic, Merck, and Semisexual—with numerous compilation appearances along the way. In January 2017 he self-released 19-tracks on More Old Songs which reawakened a patient audience. Fast forward to Phoenix, and a darker composite is unleashed with all the usual Mr. Projectile stylings and surreal electronic noodles. The flickering beats, shuffling highs, and smothered basslines all run together smoothly start to back. Case in point is the fragrant and gorgeously crafted “All Is Metal” where stretched melodic sheets fall upon rhythmic beatwork that has become Arnold’s signature. “I Know Remix” features Mimi Page, and this track also maneuvers through skittery percussive bits, serene vocal stretches, and contains a magnetic pulse that tugs on all senses. Elsewhere you’ll find staccato drums and polyrhythms colliding with uptempo shoegazed fluids as noted on “Everything Happens So Much.” Phoenix simply rises from its own ashes, preparing a musical onslaught of dark and light sandblasted electronic delicacies. An unexpected album, and a welcomed return of this long-standing and multi-talented sound sculptor.

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