- From a dancer's perspective, it's a little baffling that electro doesn't enjoy the saturation currently enjoyed by heady techno. Where the latter can lend itself to the dance music equivalent of shoe-gazing, electro begs for joint-popping moves. At its best, the genre needs nothing more than a syncopated 808 beat and the occasional strange noise, but it can also attract rote, sentimental pads and retro-futuristic clichés. Sorting the wheat from the chaff can feel tough, so dextrous releases like Morphology's Mirror Comparator should warrant extra attention.
The A-side fits the "808 and strange noises" brief to a tee and begs for angular shape-cutting on the dance floor. These rhythms go back to the days when early hip-hop and electro were hard to tell apart. On "Mirror Comparator," the squelching filter on the snare and warbling flange in the background seem to drag what was once funky street music through the mind of a sentient AI. Typical sci-fi pads make an appearance, but the rhythms and textures more than make up for it—for many listeners, those minor chords will represent a welcome trace of humanity. "Jovian Moons" ticks all the same boxes, adding a wonky acid line in the back half.
The B-side is more cerebral, especially "New Horizons." It tugs at the heartstrings with glinting staccato synths and crystalline surfaces, evoking the frozen landscape and endless nights of Morphology's Helsinki home. Mirror Comparator has a clinically executed style that verges on sterile perfection, but the quality of the sound design and rhythmic programming is impossible to ignore. With any luck, these alienated grooves will juice up plenty of DJ sets.
A1 Mirror Comparator
A2 Jovian Moons
B1 Molecular Hydrogen
B2 New Horizons