Toronto-based electronic producer Dave Psutka last graced us under his Egyptrixx alias with last year’s ‘Transfer Of Energy (Feelings Of Power)’ album, and a year on this latest longplayer on Psutka’s own Halocline Trance label ‘Pure, Beyond Reproach’ offers up its speedy follow-up. More than anything though, the ten tracks collected here bear the influence of Psutka’s more recent album under his Ceramic TL side-alias ‘Sign Of The Cross Every Mile To The Border’, which saw him exploring far more abstracted and less beat-focused territory.
There’s certainly a far more nebulous and sprawling nature to this fifth album compared to a lot of his previous work as Egyptrixx, but compared to his Ceramic TL output, there are still far more familiar signposts to orient yourself by here. That said however, opening track ‘Lake Of Contemplation, Pool Of Fundamental Bond’ offers up a deep dive into ambient layers of lapping water and droning bass synths that’s suddenly disrupted by harsh, metallic percussion rolls that crash like gamelan fills, the jagged flurries of steel bell-like tones providing a jarring counterpoint to the gaseous synth layers that float in the background.
‘We Can Be Concrete’ sees the steel bell-like textures building into a spiralling wash of reverbed-out sound that’s something of a dazzling experience over a set of good headphones, though the warm bassline that meanders in the background provides a sense of familiar ground as it noodles moodily beneath the cascading waves of what sound like looped insect or bird samples. Elsewhere, ‘Plastic Pebble’ sees steely percussion fragments swarming together like a cloud of nanobots into a relentlessly crunching looped beat against eerie horns and vast bass sweeps, the track’s relentless robotic creep calling to mind the more menacing side of Amon Tobin’s ISAM project.
‘Anodyne Wants To Ammo’ meanwhile offers up the closest thing to a ‘conventional’ listen here, building forlorn synth-pop atmospheres out of a lattice of steel-tube percussion, programmed handclaps and twinkling, refracted synth textures, the emergence of subtle guitar elements making the wander into more familiar waters complete. All up, ‘Pure, Beyond Reproach’ offers up an impressive fourth album from Egyptrixx that sees the more experimentalist bent showcased on its predecessor continuing.