TBR: 8th June
VOITAX prepare for their next release with Ireland's Dara Smith AKA Arad. Extra points if you can spot why the name. This EP takes Arad away from Lakker, his collaboration project with mainstay Eomac. Fans will remember work of theirs from R&S, Blueprint and Stroboscopic Artefacts. This time, listeners are brandished with six new mixes that range from heavy beats to dreamy atmosphere. Something for the whole party? Let's see.
Interesting layers of rhythm clang and clash together in a swathe of movement and fizz. An entire drum-set is put to use in a neat and slightly distorted compendium. Breaks scatter dynamic edges in multiple directions as wholesome and full-bodied synths begin to wah in various tones. Melody builds as notes begin to grow from each other, like cacti growing off-shoots. Wavery mirages of synthesiser give way to a vocal section of spoken word. Echo and reverb project the phonics in a stereo-sphere that degrades gradually. Barometric Shuffle takes us in with droplets of hard-nosed rhythms that crumble into sticky innards.
Flux States swiftly adapts the rhythm. New energy is projected into the crackling drum-kit, a swerve and a change of momentum gives rise to chapter two. A multi-tap melody issues repeating notes in an adjusting scale before a vocal line adds a singing section. Robotic effects distort the voice yet allow the composition to sit sweetly on the skipping beats. A low end throbs with a kick that swoops as various high end sounds pluck and hoot with various zaps and snaps. Vocal melody overlaps then builds with increasing echo along harmonies and reductions of rhythmic inclusion.
Next, a deep and multi-textured bass rhythm kicks open the door. A constant and shuddering tempo rides out in streams of movement as elemental flickers of transparent sound dance in the coiling dust. A fleshy middle then wanders slowly from the shadows, investigating and assessing with each tentative step. A quickness to the underlying rhythm accompanies slow and graceful kinesis of tempered thought mirrored in the synthesiser. Barn Gate feels tall and slightly rickety yet enriched with memories and the backdrop to many more.
Squidger begins on a simple rhythm for a few moments before a horn like sound reverberates across the peaks. The music jumps and bounces like its name suggests, and has a tactile element that compresses and reshapes as the beats coalesce. New melodics find snug places within the composition as harmonics and granular scales emerge from the separation of sound. Slow and emotive stokes of melody whisk the temporal areas as plunging and far-reaching rhythms cast the antithesis of starlight beneath our feet.
Next, a sudden smash of bass thuds in with double strikes. The heart-beat like rhythm is amplified and distorted beyond recognition. A plunge of bass crumbles and rains down as a vocal starts to sing a chant across the top. Rhythm slowly gets fortified by extra elements that shimmer and weave along transient lines. New percussion sounds are added, a drum-kit behind a forcefield manages osmosis with sheer power. Overflowing with energy, an oceanic accompaniment of vocal paints the framework in dapples. These give rise to synths that dance and bounce in droplets of effervescent sound. Vortex is a sweeping and intense escape into infinite dimensions.
The EP finishes on its titular track. Radiance Haze begins with a flutey ambience that opens into natural sounds and harmonies. It feels like sunlit waters sliding past in tranquil exchanges of energy. The evidence of time passing as the micro-scenery changes and flicks from perspective to perspective. A transcendence takes hold and lifts us beyond the commotion of our minds.
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Get Radiance Haze by Arad on Bandcamp
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Rowan Blair Colver for The Electro Review.