Inter Alia is the third album from Melbourne’s post-rock drumming duo Peon. Although it contains electronic elements, its percussive ingredients take centre stage to produce an improvisation-based album that is both foreboding yet familiar.
‘Distension’ combines a simple, restless repeating acoustic guitar line with electronic feedback and light-as-air drums that all fall apart halfway through. After going through a variety of rhythms throughout its almost nine minute running time, the track finishes on a hypnotic propulsive drum beat combined with something that sounds like a piano accordion to haunting effect. Elsewhere ‘Selva’ contains warm drone synths not dissimilar to the sounds conjured up by Boards of Canada or Crystal Castles with a whole suite of scattered percussion strewn across the track.
‘Io’ is the album’s eleven-minute closer and is the grooviest song on the album. With a hypnotic beat that combines hi-hats and side stick drumming with electronic flourishes and acoustic stringed instruments dotted throughout, the song slowly opens itself up to a pretty satisfying climax. It’s this groove-based song writing – found elsewhere on opener ‘No Second Acts’ – that I found the most rewarding and plays strongest to their improvisational work ethic.
Aside from their pretty excellent song titles, this is a solid album that has quite a haunting vibe at times, but never so much to feel isolating. The drums are the main focus and sound pretty amazing, thanks in no small part to producer Lloyd Swanton and mixer Casey Rice. Although it does contain moments that taper off for diminishing returns at times, it’s an ideal winter album for days spent indoors that should see itself getting repeat listens in the coming months.