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Hyetal: Broadcast (Black Acre)

David Corney’s latest outing as Hyetal is a wonderful combination of old and new sounds, continuing to blur the lines between genres (both macro- and micro-) in the already grey area of dubstep and its various offshoots. “Diamond Islands” for instance has an obvious nod to Prince’s classic early 80s Linn drum tracks with its staggered one-two fat synth snare combo. This Prince-ness comes off in other tracks as well, but it’s most likely an oblique reference to the music of the time rather than a direct tribute. Vocals trickle in here and there usually to added effect, but the “It’s Not Over” sample that seems like it’s intended to be the refrain of “Searchlight” doesn’t work for me at all — it sounds plucked from a different song in a different key and it just doesn’t quite work here. It’s too bad because the track itself is fantastic, and the vocal is distracting. But this is, in fact, my only complaint. Otherwise Broadcast is a vibrant and exciting piece of work, meticulously crafted and full of new and old references that work together in sweet harmony. More downtempo or ambient tracks provide and healthy counterpoint to the more uptempo ones, and the mood weaves between something slightly off-kilter or gloomy and straight-up joyous. It’s another sterling development in the continuing mutation of what could be loosely described as “post-dubstep,” combining so many different elements of the genre and its offshoots in bold, colorful ways.

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Hyetal – Diamond Islands by Black Acre Records