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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cycler - "Polymath"

Artist: Cycler
Album: Polymath
Year: 2012
Label: Raumklang Music
Genre: IDM, Ambient
Website:  www.raumklang-music.com




Debut album from IDM producer Cycler. Cycler provides an interesting downtempo trip with a focus on skillfully programmed melodic synthlines and lowkey beats.

Good stuff:
+ The major thing to notice about this release is the excellent sound design of the melodic synths. Each track has a number of layers of (probably FM-based) synth-based elements, which pulsate with complexity and constantly mutate, adding movement and interest. He is able to take these sounds and morph them into catchy and dreamily nostalgic melodies. This alone makes Cycler stand out amongst the new crop of standard issue downtempo IDM producers.
+ In addition to melodic content, there is also quite a bit of synth-based bleeps, bloops, rises, etc. strewn throughout each track. These kind of little details take a record "to the next level" in my opinion, and show that the craftsman sincerely put much time into his work. 
+ I really like the mood of this release. Though there are no big pads, which you'd likely expect, through the use of big reverb and some delay, Cycler is able to take his melancholic melodic content and fill it out with space; kind of like taking a 2D drawing and adding the third dimension. Like most good IDM, this is the soundtrack to a sad, but nonthreatening, future; or perhaps these are the dreams of a computer.
+ The beats aren't anything special, but they serve as proper foundations that keep the tracks steadily moving forward. They mesh quite well with the other elements.

Bad stuff:
- My only suggestion, and this is mainly just a personal preference, is that I would've liked more intricate, glitchy beats.

A really good release. One of the main reasons I am drawn to IDM is the use of strange, complex noises & tones (wondering: "how the heck did they make that sound?") and turning this into listenable, atmospheric music - Cycler delivers exactly this. This reminds me of older IDM stuff, which is my favorite kind; the stuff that sounds like the dream of a hibernating machine. Fans of Eedl, Atmogat, Jega, early Arovane, etc. check this out! I will certainly be keeping an eye out for whatever else this guy creates in the future.

Overall Rating: 8/10

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