- Micronism is New Zealand's Denver McCarthy, a lesser-known figure who was active in the '90s and '00s. As Mechanism, McCarthy made noxious hardcore techno; this project, as the name suggests, is its inverse, exploring quiet inner worlds and microscopically sculpted sounds. Delsin's reissue of the 1999 EP Steps To Recovery, one of only two Micronism releases, has precedence: the label revived another gem from the Nurture label, by Son.sine, in 2013. McCarthy's four-tracker isn't quite as chilled as Son.sine's Upekah, but it's no less masterful, striking an excellent balance between pillowy warmth and laser-sharp sonics.
Take, for instance, the melody in "Engaging Causeless Mercy": it's pinprick-precise, but with just the right amount of fluidity in the upper register. At first it spins rather sinisterly in empty space, but sleepy pads soon recast it as the top-line to a heavy-lidded lullaby. McCarthy pulls a similar move on "Constructing Space," which is pitchblack and brooding for the first three minutes before blissful chords unfurl through the murk. Elsewhere McCarthy offers more direct pleasures. "The Quiet Mind"'s kick has a shade more crunch, and the buoyant skip of its synths is endlessly satisfying. "Steps To Recovery," meanwhile, hinges on a two-chord loop that seems like it might plod happily along forever.
A1 Engaging Causeless Mercy
A2 The Quiet Mind
B1 Constructing Space
B2 Steps To Recovery