What a great track! it has everything, original percussion, a driving bass and it feels like you are taken on a journey. Also the mixing and mastering is very hifi worthy.
Favorite track: Helical Phase Secreting.
Daniel Martin-McCormick, formerly known as Ital, now known as Relaxer returns to Planet Mu. His new album ’Concealer’ “was made in a very private way.” McCormick describes the process as being akin to “peering into materials - the materials defined the record. Rather than making a record that's about an emotion, or a political scenario, or the dance floor, or the empty dance floor, or any narrative, this record was about communing with the materials and letting them speak to me. When I say the materials, I mean synth sounds, the space of aggressive digital processing inside the computer, and the formal structures of dance music.”
Daniel is well aware of how he’s been viewed as “both inside and outside of dance music” but notes that people are missing the full picture – “there's this third dimension, which is not necessarily tethered to dance music at all. That's maybe my way of hearing. Or the co-resonance with raw materials.” Informed by formal composition studies with electronic pioneer Morton Subotnick and Ben Vida, Concealer began to take shape. “I had this strong feeling that the tracks were these floating sound objects, and I was peering into an empty center point which they orbited around. The center point of empty/radiating emotional resonance... the materials took on a resonance that I responded to while I was working. It's only after the fact that the emotional contour of the album became apparent.”
The cover featuring a work by visual artist and Black Dice member Bjorn Copeland is a big clue to the sound of the record. Relaxer notes that it reflects “this open, airy material squeezed and wrestled into a contorted shape, suspended in air with an empty center. That's exactly how the album felt. In this sense I wanted to take myself out of it, to let the materials bloom into their own shape, guided by my hand but not defined by my intellect or any market concerns.”
Martin-McCormick thinks of the sounds on the album as “primarily just… resonant. I mostly hear resonant transience. Sounds disappearing into a field, or being obscured, or crumbling, or being subsumed. Loss.” Daniel continues “emotional resonance... that feeling that art echoes your emotional reality without narrowing it to a single mood. The mood is more like... the reality of one's personhood, reflected in the abstraction of sound.”
The album drifts towards some hyper digital sounds and marks Daniel’s return to using a computer in collaboration with hardware. Combining the ultra-artifice of the digital and its glossy, pure surface qualities, Daniel comments that it “gives the sounds this sickly, shiny dimensionality which is a little (a lot?) un-human. This decoupling from the human-ness of sound means the sounds can speak in their own special way. Of course, all sounds can speak in their way, but a vivid, digital, melty synth speaks in a way that feels more autonomous, or less tied to historical/encultured musical gestures. It hovers in the air and melts and glides. It's a little gross.”
His return to Planet Mu has been long overdue. It's been almost ten years since his album ‘Hive Mind’ (under the alias Ital) dropped on Mu, and this new record should be seen as an expansion and deep development of some of the ultra-artificial, hybrid digital contortions of dance music that McCormick started with on ‘Hive Mind.’ Welcome back.