- Recondite's Iffy sounds tailor-made for Innervisions. In a way this isn't surprising: Lorenz Brunner is a chameleonic producer whose sound, though consistent, has never adhered to any one style for long. He's made downcast Chicago trips for Acid Test, galloping techno for Dystopian and emotive big-room tunes for Hotflush, all without compromising his essence. But on Iffy, the trappings of the project seem to have swallowed him whole. The record sounds like a blockbuster Innervisions record first and foremost; that it's the third album from Recondite feels almost incidental.
The combination of Recondite's economical production and Innervisions' big-room emotions makes for something that's, well, a little too tasteful. Brunner's lines are clean, his composition is flawless, and you imagine every last frequency achieving maximum impact on nightclub and festival soundsystems. Such tidy production, though, sometimes reveals the shallowness of the content. The tunes glide along in airy percussive chugs and tonal right-turns. Buzzy synth chords signal excitement, reverb on top signals a lot of excitement, and that's about all we've got to work with. Lead single "Levo," a track that sounds destined for a sports car commercial, is the clearest case in point, with an insistently emotional melody that never quite develops beyond a three-note riff. It's enjoyable in a way—how could it not be?—but I sense Brunner holding back bigger ideas in service of making a small one sound as mammoth as possible.
Iffy's best moments come when Brunner explores a space far from the festival field. The slow, brittle tip-toe of "Tame" could be a high-definition remaster of an On Acid B-side, and "Jim Jams" puts Recondite's minimalistic streak back in service of subtlety. Most of the record, though, is like "Levo": stomping beat, vaguely mystical melody and not much tying it together. It's the essence of Innervisions distilled to its purest form, but without the X-factor and musicality that defined tracks like Ten Walls' "Gotham," it's a dead end.
10. Jim Jams