- With his last record (June's Ascension), Ian O'Donovan re-iterated his fondness for the middle ground between techno and prog. In contrast, the Irishman's new alias, Chromezone, shows off a hitherto unheard side: electro. Like most of his output, it proves a blindingly bright take on the genre. Most appropriately, the title track seems the perfect soundtrack for discovering the mythical city of Atlantis. Its glittering pads and almost-squealing arps sound otherworldly, but they're tempered by a husky low-end growl, like submarine engines at work. As usual, O'Donovan's skill at interlocking these elements means his taste for maximalism doesn't ruin the day.
"Colonial Outpost" is similar, but takes a more haunting approach. Its synths are shrill and a little abrasive, often racing up the scales unexpectedly. The record's sole remix is courtesy of Dexter, one of Holland's better-known electro producers. Doing away with the original growling bass of "Atlantis," he builds his version around a tenser, and perhaps more striking, twang. It dominates most of the duration, with O'Donovan's brilliant melodies only illuminating the canvas at lengthy and judicious intervals. This restraint proves a nice counterpoint to the all-out approach found elsewhere on the record.
A2 Colonial Outpost
B Atlantis (Dexter Remix)