Displacer, Night Gallery

The Tympanik Audio label has quickly established itself as a purveyor of interesting, melodic, glitch-based music that tends to push out the borders of the genre. While I sometimes grow a little weary of relentless, high-speed glitch, with a new Tympanik release I can typically go into a listening experience wondering how each will differ from the norm. Displacer’s Night Gallery is one of those discs that delivers both the punch of good glitch and the answer to the question, “What else you got?” Michael Morton unleashes waves of melodic eletronica powered by muscular bass lines. He keeps a steady hand on the glitch knob, unquestionably able to crank it up but more often showing a restrained and artful hand. Morton keeps the ride smooth for the first few tracks, borderline ambient pieces that take advantage of stretches of rhythm. “Wave” is two minutes of relaxing washes and a shifting waveform. Then “Radioactive” charges in aggressively and takes hold with an up-front glitch feel and that thick, gelatinous bass. Morton shifts tone on the next track, the ballad-like “Orchid,” but he keeps that tasty bass fully in play. This is the great thing about Night Gallery; it’s thick with hooks from start to finish and every track unveils its own little tricks and personality quirks. “Awakening” proudly flaunts its jaunty electro-pop side, “Ice Cold” pairs raspy guitar with spacey openness and “Falling” comes away like Morton went into a good Nine Inch Nails track and removed a little of the anger without touching the cool industrial groove and smoldering lustiness. At no point does Night Gallery fall into purely by-the-book glitch, but when Morton adds that as an aspect, it’s dead on, and the disc benefits from his slick ability to switch up styles at a moment’s notice.

Available from Tympanik Audio.

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