Maduro :: Black Ice Ballet (Octofoil)

Minimal drops and wickedly complex percussive wizardry that keeps you locked to the groove yet constantly on guard, advancing cautiously into the unforgiving night.

With the deceptively innocent chimes of a child’s toy, Maduro welcomes us into his world. A dystopian megalopolis caught in the crux between machine domination and the fading echoes of organic artistry. Eerie strains of honky-tonk torn from shattered jukeboxes struggle against frenetic synthetic percussion and not quite random electrical fluctuations. Like you’ve stumbled into a dive somewhere in the Sprawl to discover a lonely alcoholic piano player jamming with a broken robot drum machine.

What began as an offshoot from the terrific June release on Octofoil (Blood Turns Black) has been fully explored here as an homage to Williams Gibsons 1984 classic Neuromancer. It’s the sort of undertaking that could easily fall short in so many ways. Fortunately Maduro’s experience shines through and he is able to summon a subtle yet powerful invocation of Gibsons world. The liasion is brilliantly managed and the reference feels neither dominating nor superfluous.

There is a sonic texture, a clanging, distorted reverberation which seems to perfectly capture the cyberpunk spirit. And this texture permeates throughout, whether over the groovy jazz jams of “Club SubDermal” or the Sega Mega Drive vibes of “This is Hers.” There is depth here too, a feeling of desperate, even helpless struggle against brutally incomprehensible forces. Lonely melodies enveloped by spiraling chasmic pads and chaotic synth stabs.

Sci-Fi aside it’s also extremely refreshing to hear the now all too familiar screeches and whomps of modern Bass Music in a unique and inspiring context that draws more from Venetian Snares than from Skrillex. Which is to say constant evolution, minimal drops and wickedly complex percussive wizardry that keeps you locked to the groove yet constantly on guard, advancing cautiously into the unforgiving night.

Black Ice Ballet is available on Octofoil.

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