Known Rebel, Hollow

If it wasn’t for the wonder of the shuffle setting on an iPod, I might have been quick to dismiss Known Rebel’s debut CD, Hollow, as another round of by-the-numbers glitch. Coming into it in track-nominal order would have only reinforced the idea, since the starting track is a pretty straightforward bit of (as their page on the Tympanik web site says) “bedroom IDM.” But hold on–by the time you get to “Mechanical Sunset,” things have changed and Hollow pulls focus to its lounge-like, icily chilled side. Germán Escandell and Jaime Irles aren’t here to glitch you out of your socks, after all. They’re ready to switch styles, always keeping at least a light backdrop of manipulated noise and punched-out rhythms, but there’s occasionally more at work here. The track that sold me on a deeper listen is “Gathering of the Argonauts,” a low-bpm glide of IDM that’s strong on melody. “Smart” carries echoes of Deepfried Toguma as it eases along. Deep bass drum beats thud beneath a chiming, sequenced line; piano fills the space with  slow-played sadness. While there’s not a lot here that truly pitches aside the standards of glitch–in most cases, it’s just downplayed a bit–Hollow has a lot of very listenable moments. Individual tracks have more of an impact than a full-on track-by-track listen, which is often how I feel about this genre of music. Standing alone, their formula-based structure doesn’t wear out its welcome. The disc offers eight tracks and five remixes.

Available from Tympanik Audio.

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