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Polysick: Digital Native (Planet µ)

Hailing from Rome, Egisto Sopor is the mind behind the odd musical stylings of Polysick. Digital Native is his first proper full-length album under the moniker, though he’s been quietly releasing music under both this name as well as TheAwayTeam for a couple of years now. Considering his newfound home on Mike Paradinas’s Planet µ label, it’s refreshing how atypical the sounds are on this album. It hardly relates to the label’s flagship breakcore or spazzy dubstep crossover sounds at all, with many tracks quite understated and melodic. It’s hardly ambient, though, but usually with a woozier quality of pitch bends and odd arpeggio synths, especially on a track like “Meltinacid” or “Lost Holidays,” or odd drumming and synth flute combos like “Preda” or “Gondwana.” There are very few samples on this album, at least in the melodic sense, and the arrangements are generally rather neat and clean. There’s something in Polysick’s languid synths and off-kilter patternmaking that is compelling, making for great headphones listening in his attention to detail here and there. One of my favorites is “Taito” with its square arpeggios and light, melodic  pulse, recalling the liquid sleekness of early 90s Warp techno. Elsewhere things sounds deliberately unresolved, like the discordant synths of “Caravan,” the pitter-patter of “Tic Tac Toe,” or the rickety wooziness of opening track “Totem.” The longest track, “Transpelagic,” is a squiggly acid-infused cut that reminds me a bit of Drexciya and their underwater adventures. Definitely one for at home listening with its varied tempo and sonic palette, but not without some dancefloor potential here and there. It’s a pretty fresh and fun collection of ideas and sounds that feels nostalgic while looking forward.

Buy it: Planet µ | Bleep | Boomkat | iTunes | Amazon