Datach’i – The Elements (Sublight)


Either Canada’s Sublight Records are very lucky or very canny, but they’ve managed to get just about all the leading lights of the breakcore scene on their roster, and not only that but they’re pulling magnificently unusual albums out of them.

Joseph Fraioli attracted the attention of the idm scene with his first two albums on Caipirinha, being rather inaccurately labelled as America’s Aphex Twin. His beats were certainly frenetic then, but they were so scattershot that they left little sense of real rhythm half the time. It’s hard to pin down why those albums have remained on my shelf for the last half a decade, but following on from an album on Planet Mµ, it’s likely that this album is finally the redemption of Datach’i. Kind of.

The beats still tend towards the too fast, but they’re a lot more controlled here. And “Musket Iron” begins the album with a taste of what’s to come – faux classical sounds merging with splattercore beats. By the next track element #2 has entered: Squarepusher-style organs (think “Tundra”). The more over-the-top tracks tend uncomfortably towards Otto von Schirach territory (ie just a big mess), but I prefer Datachi’s sense of humour to Otto’s: check “False Sentiment”, which deconstructs a note-perfect Romantic violin line into a kind of gabba heffalump dance.

The album suffers from a surfeit of too much noise in the middle, but it’s got enough quirky different stuff to satisfy. Breakneck breakbeats are ok over cute-spooky classical (“Frayed”) – or maybe he’s just keeping a tighter rein on these tracks.

Also featuring some tasty and fittingly odd artwork from David Stoupakis.


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Radio broadcaster - Utility Fog on FBi. Cellist - FourPlay String Quartet. Web administrator, editor, reviewer, sporadic blogger, science fiction fan, bicycle rider...

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