steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Gliae" CD


Genre: electronic, IDM, experimental

Bucharest, Romania

October 2009

Sandwiched between two white, plastic tiles, this innovatively packaged album is an interesting artefact of electronic music that spends a lot of its time experimenting with rhythm. I suppose one might characterize the clunky beats and sparse synths on this record as IDM, a description that's apt if incomplete.

Bucharest-based Yvat (born Octavian Justinian Uta) has released scads of records over the past few years, and his experience shows on Gliae. He populates his compositions with glitchy, complex beats, carefully strewing melodies over top. On melodic tracks like "NAcc" (presumably a tribute to the nucleus accumbens) and sublimely urgent "Lemma," the combination is reminiscent of work by Bedouin Ascent and Autechre. On more rhythm-centric compositions, such as "Astern" and "ACTH," Uta shows off his skill at designing unconventional, stuttering beats. At its most intense moments, these tracks acquire a sort of mechanical quality, almost as if they were the percussive rhythms of a factory full of machinery. But it's the picture-perfect "Alar" which takes this record's crown; with a brilliantly ethereal synth-line as its motif, it bridges the gap between the synth-drenched prettiness of Orbital and the rhythmic complexity of Autechre - it's mesmerizing yet frustratingly short.

Altogether, Gliae isn't the most immediate IDM release, as the emphasis is more on atmosphere and unconventional rhythm than it is on melody, but nevertheless it's a curious record that rewards the patient listener.

yvat's website

(not from this album)

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2009]