Ital Tek: Control (Planet µ)
Alan Myson continues his exploration of contrasting fast and slow with this concise collection of eight tracks for Mike Paradinas’s Planet µ label. “Fire Flies” kicks things off flaunting the same repitching of loops that launched his last full-length, 2012’s excellent Nebula Dance. But it’s “Violets” that is the clear standout, with its looping vocal patterns recalling the gloomy pop of Art of Noise’s “Moments In Love.” Its half-beat stride and its skittery details kick up the tension considerably, though. It continues with panache on “Challenger Deep,” a handsome layering of skittering hihats, fast, undulating arpeggios, and a crisp, clean halfbeat. Its clean arp leads sound like the perfect accompaniment to Control’s isometric cover art, vibrant with color and busy with details. Elsewhere, the album has a nice flow of ups and downs even as its individual tracks negotiate meter and tempo in its rhythm and bass sections. “Control” and “Ultra” both are punctuated with heavy, distorted bass kicks, lending a rough and tumble physicality that’s nicely contrasted with smooth pads and melodic flourishes. Two short beatless interludes round it out, making Control surprisingly short despite its riches — a mini-album clocking under a half hour, but packing a strong punch. The juxtapositions of fast and slow, hard and soft, and rough and smooth work to Myson’s favor here, with Control likely to appeal to dubstep heads as much as IDM fans, succeeding at straddling these various worlds with apparent ease.