With his angular sonics and nods to fine art and computer music, Rian Treanor slots neatly into Boomkat's The Death Of Rave label. In places, the crisp, intricate drums and gleaming FM synths of his debut EP sound uncannily like Mark Fell's Sensate Focus project. Treanor's distinguishing feature is the level on which he dissects club music. Where Fell tinkers with house's DNA, distorting its form in fundamental ways, Treanor works with higher level dance structures, making his music a good deal friendlier. On "A1" it's skittish UK garage, punched with holes and drizzled in arpeggiating synths. On "B1" it's footwork, rendered with a brightness that borders on the cute.
The rest of A Rational Tangle is harder to place. "A2"'s feverish drum patterns get a cold compress of Fell-style house chords. Treanor seems to love building intricate matchstick constructions and then knocking them down, and he does so expertly, though perhaps a couple times too many. "B2"'s convulsive halftime groove has the most bite. The pungent synth breakdown it gives way to is promising, but from there Treanor loses the plot, detouring into fiddly variations on the original idea. Treanor's debut is bright—in both senses of the word—but in places it seems like he's still finding his way through the tangle.