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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Huron - "The Other Side Of Reality"

Artist: Huron
Album: The Other Side of Reality
Year: 2013
Label: Raumklang Music
Genre: IDM
Website: www.raumklang-music.de

I've been following IDM producer Huron for a while now, and after several releases on the Crazy Language netlabel I feel like he really came into his own with 2012's Pictures From The Past. 2013 brings us the further refinement and evolution of his sound on The Other Side of Reality released via Raumklang music; this is also his first hardcopy release.

I guess the easiest way to describe this album is to think of a hybrid between the dark, futuristic, complex IDM sound of Access to Arasaka's more atmospheric material, say ==Null, and the spacious mixing and plucky, emotional melodies of DNN. I don't want to draw too many comparisons because I feel that would diminish the quality of work presented here; however, that should paint a pretty accurate picture - and it is most certainly a recipe for success. Huron brilliantly mixes beautiful, emotive atmospheres (lots of big pads + melodic stuff - typical a pleasant sounding piano) with complex and unpredictable swirls of percussion and sfx. While the beats and percussive elements lend a distinctly mechanical sound (and some, like on "Vector Change", have a nice industrial bite to them), the synths balance it with deep, dreamy, organic flavor. The result is that this music feels like a future where nature has been symbiotically incorporated into machinery to utilize the best of both worlds. Every song on the album is well done, and while they share similar characteristics, I can listen to the entire thing all the way through and not get bored. Again I will draw the comparison to Access to Arasaka, but think more structured and musical, with a distinct path to tread from beginning to end. Along the way are various wonders to see (though none terribly divergent from the origin), as the songs don't stagnant or get repetitive. While the sounds he uses aren't totally unique, the skillful composition paints them in their best light and makes these IDM tropes feel new & exciting again. There are also three beat-less interludes throughout the album which I found to be pretty enjoyable and fitting with the overall atmosphere of the album.

Additionally, I want to make mention of the absolutely phenomenal mastering here from Alexander Dietz. This record somehow manages to be much louder than most other stuff, while still being incredibly punchy, crisp, and spacious. Totally perfect for this style of music.

An incredible album that will please fans of IDM, especially the Access to Arasaka type stuff (which is my personal favorite style). I wouldn't be surprised if this ends up on my best albums of the year list. Don't miss it!!

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