Sydney-based electronic producer Wade Clarke last graced us in 2014 with his impressive second album as Aeriae ‘Victris’, and three years on this latest download only EP ‘Peril Triage’ offers up a considerably more visceral listening experience, something that’s in part down to Clarke’s experimentation with his own ‘Controllerism’ live performance setup. Indeed, there’s a far more energetic, raw and gritty feel to the seven tracks that make up this EP (which comes in closer to an album at 44 minutes in length), and while the detailed IDM-hued arrangements that characterised Aeriae’s early works remain firmly in place, for the most part the bpms sit considerably higher here. Opening track ‘Firmament’ certainly gives a good taste of what’s in store here, placing a robust off-step rhythm beneath layers of crystalline shimmering pads and muted bass chords, resulting in a fusion that’s curiously as focused and propulsive as it is airy and dreamy, the dark distorted bass drops that emerge halfway abruptly dragging things out of their reverie.
‘Charnel’ meanwhile gets much darker as ominous bass swells and mechanically cycling metallic snares get gradually overtaken by noodling melodic arpeggios and insect-like robotic squiggles, the entire track slowly accelerating as the synth riffs get more messily interwined. As the tracklisting progresses here the tempos also consistently rise, and by the you’ve made it to ‘Where All Past Burdens Shall No Longer Be Worn’, the breakbeats have accelerated into abstracted post-junglist rhythms, the thin aluminium-sounding snares tracing a path against glassy stuttered melodic notes and wobbling bass drops. If anything, Clarke’s aim of transposing tracks designed specifically for live performance back into a studio setting has certainly worked here, with ‘Valified’s surging fusion of gritty electro dancefloor rhythms and pristinely arranged synth textures offering up some pretty persuasive evidence. All up, ‘Peril Triage’ captures a considerably rawer and more energetic side of Aeriae that’s well worth seeking out.