- It's been a fairly busy year for Ilian Tape, having released Skee Mask's stellar debut LP in February and following it with six more records from the likes of co-owner Marco Zenker and veteran producer Roger 23. The mileage that the Munich label can get from its recognizable brand of ambient-informed, hardcore-referencing techno is impressive, but it's not without limits. On his fourth Ilian Tape record, Wintermay, Turin artist Andrea adds few wrinkles of his own to this well-worn formula. His signature is the glowing, IDM-sourced synthscapes he sets behind churning rhythms, which offers a nice contrast to the heavy beats and drum fills. But for all the prettiness of its melodic backdrops, the EP doesn't always make a lasting impression.
Wintermay's most captivating track is "22:22," largely because of the intricacy and power of its groove in relation to the others. Each kick drum hits with shuddering force, and the chopped breaks and rhythmic FX around them add layers of dynamic movement. As the beat gathers momentum, the synth swells gradually raise in intensity but pull back before it all boils over. It should give dance floors a euphoric moment.
"Timed" attempts a similar effect, and nearly nails it with the watery pads and 133-BPM sway. If the track wasn't just quietly wistful across its six-minute plateau, Wintermay might have been stronger for it. "Queue A" takes a bolder approach, setting a big 4/4 with sparse percussive accents inside its requisite synth whorl, but once again the lack of an arc keeps Andrea's style from reaching its full potential. As the beatless "Floating" illustrates, starry synth tones and poignant chords don't necessarily make for memorable music.
B1 Queue A