On/Off
Distant/Personal

By Miles Hawthorn

 
As is immediately evident from the artist name and album title, this is a work that is full of contrasts. One moment your heart is melted by the icy beauty of certain tracks and the next your head mashed by the heavy crunch of others. The moments of heart-mangling intensity generally fall on the warm and gorgeous side of things though; the only truly heavy tracks on here are track two, a harsh assault of scabrous breaks, and the growling and snarling track seven which reminds me of the Posthuman album also on Seed. The remaining tracks sound like they are carved out of pristine ice; cold but in a pleasant way, pure and glinting with refracted light.

There is a depth of production on here that is consistently bright and cinematic, lending the album a magical and fairytale ambience. Although the beats are tough and crunchy, and generally take centre stage, the textured warmth of the production is always there and sets this apart from the crowd. The soft, twinkling synths and delicate IDM-styled beats of track four are instantly on the mark. There is also a slight nod to BOC on this, with the repeated 'ninety nine' sample and the just too quiet to hear voices. Piano For Broken Hearts is gorgeous and does exactly what it says on the tin. There are some more unusual sounds on here too, as track eight opens with a guitar being strummed and the sound of a wailing police siren before huge beats distort them into the background, although they remain there throughout. Track thirteen also manages to blend extra flavours in whilst maintaining the overall tone of the album.

A mere five releases in and Seed is another label spearheading electronic advancement; after Ardisson, now this, I can't wait to hear what they have in store next.
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