Acronym - Entagled In Vines

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  • In the summer of 2015, Acronym released one the most striking and immersive techno albums in recent memory. June was a seamless, nine-track narrative that moved fluidly between celestial ambient, low-end hypnosis, deep techno and banging warehouse fare, only further carving out its rich sound with every layer. The record was best heard in its entirety, but the unnamed Swedish producer also included a few powerful, standalone club tracks. His latest release, Entagled In Vines, falls somewhere between an album and a double-EP, with eight cuts that trade more in functionality than nuanced expression. But within the format of two DJ-friendly 12-inches, Acronym has nonetheless struck an exceptional balance between dance floor dynamics and engrossing soundscapes. Entagled In Vines is Acronym's second Semantica record, after 2014's Yggdrasil. Like those four tracks, this batch takes it easy with ghostly pads, overt melody and the producer's general tendency towards tuneful atmospherics. What ambience is left is thick with humidity and sinister undertones—sounds and moods heightened by illusory traces of synth ("Wrapped") or distant, clattering rhythms ("The Sending"). If the music of Entagled describes any kind of story, it's one of psychedelic shamanism and blackened jungles like the one adorning the cover. "Enter" gracefully sets the scene with atonal mist and soft flashes like flitting fireflies, while "They Spoke To Me" and "Surrounded" close the often inscrutable Entagled with a satisfying sense of space and harmony. If these tracks weren't meant to illustrate a foreboding, supernatural place, they were at least conceived with a singular intent. That clear vision elevates what might otherwise be a workmanlike collection. This is soundsystem music no doubt, but even compared to Acronym's recent Northern Electronics 12-inch, these tracks are lean and straightforward. Nothing here is quite so lovely as "Cleansed In Fire" ("Surrounded" is close), or as angular as "Floating" (despite the slant of "Getting Closer"'s loping gait). Some might find the tribal edge of "Wrapped" and "They Spoke To Me" a bit overdone. Others could very well take pleasure in the familiar dark, druggy milieus. Held up to the likes of June and Mu, Entagled isn't the most evocative or unmistakable Acronym full-length. But anyone who spends time soaking in its well-crafted world of rhythm and texture will soon find reason to return.
  • Tracklist
      01. Enter 02. Getting Closer 03. Escape 04. Wrapped 05. Rays 06. The Sending 07. They Spoke To Me 08. Surrounded