Since he first emerged under his alias The Cyclist six years ago, Irish electronic producer Andrew Morrison has managed to remain extremely prolific, releasing three albums under the aforementioned alias, as well as full-lengths as Buz Ludzha and Gongue. On the heels of last year’s ‘Pressing Matters’ EP on Hypercolour, ‘Sapa Inca Delirium’ offers up The Cyclist’s fourth album, and it’s certainly an extremely accomplished beast. While the emphasis upon breakbeats that’s characterised The Cyclist’s preceding work remains firmly in evidence here, the eleven tracks collected here feel steeped in psychedelia more than anything else.
‘Sapa Inca Delirium’ opens things with a fusion of chunky breakbeats, prowling basslines and smoky jazz horns that calls to mind Death In Vegas’ rock-tinged noir, but in this case it’s the eerily manipulated female vocal samples and cavernous droning harmonics that drag it to a far more cinematic place, bringing the weary grandeur of the brass arrangements out into sharp relief. ‘Inti’ meanwhile calls to mind one of John Carpenter or SURVIVE’s dark sheeny synth scores as dark buzzing chords wind out of the murk against percussive tones and pitchbent vocal samples, the entire track gradually fading out into a wash of ocean waves. In sharp contrast, ‘Peruvian Gold’ sends steel-coiled broken house rhythms flexing against clattering wooden percussion, phased synths and scattered backing harmonies, in what’s easily one of the most impressive dancefloor centred offerings here, balancing visceral thump and swooning emotional heft in equal measures.
Elsewhere, ‘Antiexist’ takes things off on a deep dub-tinged wander that threads a sampled live drum kit through shimmering melodic chords and cut-up female backing harmonies, the snare spinbacks introducing a hiphop undercurrent, only for ‘When We All Break Down’ to send things on a garage-tinged ride through rattling broken-house rhythms and juddering bass pressure that sees vocalist Joni’s folk-blues tinged presence colliding with coiled batucada-style percussion and delicately woozy synth pads to spectacular effect.
It’s rare that an album is able to cover such broad territory with such consistently engaging results, and even rarer that a predominantly dance-based artist is able to fashion things into a coherent whole that comes across as a thematic album cycle, rather than just a collection of tracks. With ‘Sapa Inca Delirium’, The Cyclist manages both.