- Disruption in electronic music has taken many forms. The term appeared this month in Michelle Lhooq's feature about the implications of the CDJ. She suggested that CDJs, which allow you to instantly skip anywhere in a track's timeline, have led to a DJ method that's built more on stuttering than seamless continuity.
There's been a parallel trend in the music itself, driven by artists whose tracks start and stops abruptly. Daniel Ruane and smog squeeze exciting music out of this method on their new split EP, DualExercise_l, which unifies jaw-dropping sound design with impossible rhythms and a generous amount of bass pressure. Disruption is nothing new for electronic music—just look at '90s IDM or breakcore (DJ /rupture even named himself after this aesthetic). But this new wave of producers is distinguished by a taste for high-fidelity textures, an approach that treats sound like sculpture.
Daniel Ruane's track, "Dissident," feels especially cinematic, with drastic shifts in tone that suggest a kind of freeform narrative. The smog remix evens out the irregularities, preserving the cybernetic sound palette while imposing a militant order on the drums. "Seethe," by smog, has the most dance floor potential, with a barrage of overdriven kick drums and a wall of screaming textures. Daniel Ruane puts the track into an algorithmic blender on his remix, and what emerges is a mind-bending lattice of difficult rhythms. The most remarkable thing about this release is the ease with which these young producers navigate two disparate skill sets: impressive, three-dimensional sound design and a genuine sense of musicality.
A1 Daniel Ruane - Dissident
A2 smog - Seethe
B1 Daniel Ruane - Dissident (smog Remix)
B2 smog - Seethe (Daniel Ruane Remix)