I’ve been getting quite a bit of music lately that I guess falls into the “breakcore”/glitch-beat/IDM realm. Some of it’s quite good, but the problem for these artists sending me their work now is that their stuff has to have something that will elevate it over all the other quite similar releases that are landing in my mailbox a couple times a week. (This theme will repeat in upcoming reviews.)
Case in point, Rise, the new release from the German duo called Integral. This disc has something like that something–although what that something is is hard to define and, honestly, it’s barely enough to differentiate them from the pack. Most of the pieces on Rise fall into the framework of bouncing a barrage of glitchy, high-speed microsounds across a downtempo underflow, making for a contrast of calm and energetic that, while workable, doesn’t go far toward making it stand out.
Where Integral succeeds is in the places where some touch of difference, however minor, is worked in. The first place I hear it is in “Doors,” where the sounds of a door closing and someone knocking, whether actual recordings or software-generated renditions, come in as percussion elements. It’s an inventive idea that just works. A high, almost operatic vocal sample later also adds character. The title track has a machinework pulse powered by a deep, mechanical thrum. It builds to a breakout point and when it comes it just feels logical.
The most pleasant surprise is the last track, “Je Ne Trouve Pas La Sortie.” After the long electronic assault of the eleven prior tracks, the sound of an acoustic guitar drops in out of absolutely nowhere. It’s played with hesitant grace and gently flecked with electronic accents.
Overall, Rise is a good bit of straight-up, beat-driven IDM well worth taking a listen to.
Kudos also to cover artist Tobias Splitt for his stunning work.
Available from Tympanik Audio.