Spatial - Emergence #2

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  • This is the second record in Spatial's Emergence series, which explores how "complex patterns arise from interactions between simple elements." It sounds like it was made from the same raw, strange materials as the first. But this time around the London producer seems more interested in the turbulent process and less in a compelling result. These tracks are less stable than last year's HeLa / Referent, in terms of both their scattered grooves and their style, which flits between grime's staccato attack, garage's hyper swing and less definable strains of computer music. It's hard to know where we're headed for much of the seven-minute "Reanimator." The drums twitch and thud uneasily, shuffling between long pauses and moments of 16th-note overload. The synths are sparse and swirling; the closest thing to a melody comes from the frayed toms lurking in the midrange. Perhaps unsurprisingly for a UK-rooted producer, the low-end eventually brings things into line, starting as a dubstep-like bassbin shudder and swelling until a detuned drone threatens to swamp the mix. "Tensegrity" is somehow both more straightforward and trickier to pin down. Forming out of a cloud of vague synth work, its gaunt, semitonal bassline and clattery rimshots suggest grime. But the beat never clarifies, stumbling over a triplet obstacle every couple of bars. Just as it's gaining momentum, uneven synth spurts send it scattering back into confusion, before Spatial gathers everything together for the climax. Emergence #2 flirts with incoherence, but doesn't succumb to it.
  • Tracklist
      A Reanimator B Tensegrity