A perfectly suited aesthetic for the dynamic, every-changing liquid state of Roel Funcken's latest album, Iridium Flare. Roel's previous albums all don a similar look-and-feel, yet the shimmering and twisted metallics on this one are a perfect match for the electronic organism battling to emerge from the steel box that contains it.
Most IDM can present itself as a mess - a cluster of drums, bleeps and synths that sometimes have no construct whatsoever. Beats stray so far away from the expected repetition; and the LED's light up a path so unclear you're often left wondering where the hell you'll end up - but that's the magic of IDM and what made the likes of Autechre famous in keeping a room full of heads trying to nod to a completely nondescript rhythm. A spectacle to say the least (even when the lights are off).
Iridium Flare has elements of this randomized IDM sound, yet never strays too far off the path, which is the perfect recipe for an IDM album built to be consumed personally.
Arovane'esque tracks like the opener Android Robinson sit at one end of the spectrum, rich in melody and atmosphere pinned against the ticks and punches of an entertaining beat structure.
Greyzone Baxter's bulbous and engulfing synths play out like a live performance, as delays, echoes and filters toy with the omni-present streams of sound. Leaved introduces a lighter side to the album with a beautiful piano and vocal engulfed in the patterings and tinkering's of drum'n bass. Aggressive sounds are often underpinned with a subtle harmony; the clashing of liquid metal against the tough interior of its captor.
Iridium Flare is a class in balance and restraint. The sounds and manipulations
demonstrated throughout are carefully placed and never feel out of sync, despite the complexity of beats, progression and slowly growing electronic organisms. It's an album built for intense listening, longing to be played out live in an epic futuristic setting. As far as Intelligent Dance Music goes, this one's begging to escape any confines you dare to place on it.
Available on Bandcamp as Name Your Price.