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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

MultiColor - "Cyclicity"

Artist: MultiColor
Album: Cyclicity
Year: 2014
Label: Tympanik Audio
Genre: IDM
Website: www.tympanikaudio.com

Here we have the debut EP from the recent Tympanik signing MultiColor. There are 3 original songs and a remix from Balkansky (the downtempo alias of DNB phenom Cooh). Don't really have any further info on this guy so let's have a listen.

Upon the opening of the EP I am immediately impressed. This definitely fits well within Tympanik's ranks. MultiColor creates a hybrid of IDM/ambient/glitch which reminds me of the classic acts who got me into the genre - stuff like Boards of Canada, Plaid, Mouse on Mars, etc. He does an excellent job of mixing weird & glitchy melodic textures with constantly changing beats & rhythms to create continuously evolving tracks. I appreciate that there is some degree of unpredictability here, as well as various sections within each song - parts with melodies, parts with more subdued pads and atmospherics, ambient interludes, etc. The opener "The First Stage" sets the tone - a lighthearted groovy track with a catchy main melody and lots of subtle sounds and sfx to keep your attention. The second track "Moving Up" is my least favorite, because the main melodic thing starts to annoy me after a while, but I appreciate the nostalgic value it generates as it reminds me a lot of something I can't put my finger on. Tycho or something. Anyway, this song has a nice multi-faceted interlude in the middle and demonstrates MultiColor's song writing abilities. The third and final original track "A Special Moment" might be my favorite here; it's got some neat glitchy & filtery guitar plucking combined with great evocative pads and atmospheric sfx. It's also the most driving and upbeat piece on the EP. It feels like a warm autumn night under the moon. I also enjoyed the Balkansky mix of this track which adds in more glitchy percussive elements, although the mix is kind of unbalanced with the melodic stuff being way too low.

While not exactly "innovative" - these songs certainly bring to mind other artists, it's really nice to hear new acts that actually try with IDM. I think it's gotten very easy to lose interest in contemporary IDM because the genre is seemingly past it's prime (which is a paradox because it should be better than ever with all the new gear/equipment that is available) and the vast majority of newer acts are stale, 5th rate, watered down versions of prior artists who have all but abandoned the characteristics which defined the genre. However, MultiColor stands out from the pack as a guy that is actually hitting the fundamentals of the style - experimentation, unpredictability, making new and interesting sounds + creating songs out of them, challenging his equipment, etc. This EP has definitely piqued my interest and I am excited to see what he does in the future. Fans of Tympanik and related labels will absolutely appreciate this one. Keep a eye out.

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