Upon its release just a couple of months ago, Brainwaltzera’s impressive third EP ‘Aescoba’ was accompanied by rumours that it might actually be the work of Aphex Twin under a new alias, a theory originally starting when Richard D James complimented some of Brainwaltzera’s tracks on Soundcloud, and spurred on by the producer’s continuing insistence on anonymity. In fact, in the ensuing couple of months I’ve only been able to learn two concrete things; one being that Brainwaltzera isn’t actually Aphex after all, and the other being that Brainwaltzera’s a he.
That said, even a cursory listen to ‘Aescoba’ added to the persuasiveness of the theory, with the discernible IDM influence of Rephlex and early Warp Records never very far from the surface. While traces of those aforementioned seminal IDM influences remain firmly evident on this debut album ‘Poly-Ana’, there’s a sense of Brainwaltzera finding his own distinct voice a lot more and then smoothly incorporating those influences into his own moods and structures. It’s easily to make comparisons with Boards Of Canada from the very outset on gently meandering opening track ‘Kurrytee (MIDI 2 CV)’ and indeed, the wavering tape delay-style effects applied to the synth ripples and sparse downbeat percussion form a lot of the appeal here, conjuring up a sense of hazy reverie whilst also preventing things from ever becoming too aseptic and crystalline.
From there, ‘smit’ gets darker and more hiphop-centred as booming bass drops and reverbed-out kicks trace a path amidst eerie ambient found sounds, before rich analogue synth leads rise out of the gloom, adding a moody soul vibe as vocal samples get frantically cut-up and stuttered, clicking trap rhythms playing at the very edges as everything finally gets sucked down into a wormhole of looped voices. Those same trap rhythms also surface elsewhere on ‘Mixolydian Transition 18’ twitching against lurching, pitched down drum breaks, insectoid digital chatter and hypnotically plangent synth arrangements as the space-time continuum almost seems to get interfered with at points.
Meanwhile, ‘Triangulate Dither’ sees crisp 4/4 techno rhythms powering away against eerie sonar-like blips as blurred melodic sequences cycle in the background, adding an ominous sense of grace to the throbbing rhythms as they glitter suspended in the darkness. An impressive debut album that more than delivers on the promise of his preceding EPs, ‘Poly-Ana’ suggests that Brainwaltzera’s just getting started.