Mergrim - Invisible Landscape [2011 / V0 / 87 Mb]
01. Beautiful Corruption
02. Soft’n Poetry
03. Arch feat.Luca Luca Don Chikku
05. Step of the Flakes
06. Shdwgrph *Grain
07. Ideal That Fade Out
08. Absentminded Drowsiness
09. Noir Noir
10. Dry Aesthetic
|Invisible Landscape…, the debut solo release from Mergrim has been a long time coming. Since beginning performing with bands in 1998, moving on as a producer/composer in his own capacity in 2004, to finally dropping his debut release in January 2011, his first venture into solo territory has certainly had a long gestation period indeed. However, he hasn’t been sitting idle, carefully honing his slicing, chop and glitch skills over the years and putting them to good use on Invisible Landscape…|
As ‘Beautiful Corruption’ takes off, all glitch and sliced piano, synth pads stab through concisely at regular intervals, cracking the crust of drilling pulses and beats. ‘Arch feat. Luca Luca Don Chikku’ continues in the heavily edited realm, and sees sliced vocal clippings peppered over relentless glitching rhythms. The album then takes a pleasant turn for the mellow on ‘Senkyou’, sounding extremely akin to a certain long-standing Warp artists’ back catalogue, particularly “Selected Ambient Works” era (c’mon, you know who i’m talking about). It provides but a brief respite from the chaotic quantisation elsewhere, allowing your brain (and ears) to take a breath before diving back in.
‘Shdwgrph *Grain’ slips things back to glitch gear, steadily evolving from an almost dubsteppy beginning before moving dangerously close to minimal house territory. ‘Absentminded Drowsiness’s’ gentle beginnings keep things slightly restrained once more, displaying Mergrim’s more contemplative side, which could have been allowed to evolve slightly further to add a little more balance and maturity to the track set. Steady drum glitches threaten to take over, yet are only barely kept in check. Closer ‘Dry Aesthetic’ swings lightly towards trip-hop, and is perhaps one of the most promising tracks in terms of evolution, hinting at a more restrained future sound. Definitely a step in the right direction.
There’s much to like here, however a little more restraint could have been exercised as far as the glitch is concerned. Nearly 70% of each piece goes through Mergrim’s chop shop, and while it’s all quite cleverly done, it becomes tiresome on the ear over time. In order to evolve more in the future, Mergrim needs to put the knife down. Nevertheless, this is the face of Modern Japanese pop electronica, emerging amongst cohorts like Cokiyu, Aus and the Flau collective. An intriguing yet ever so slightly underwhelming debut.