Ital Tek: Nebula Dance (Planet µ)
Ital Tek’s 2012 full-length moves away from the darker dubstep sounds he explored a few years ago and instead brims with a vibrant energy. This post-dubstep (or whatever you want to call it) collection of tracks is both shimmering and melodic, still with an infectious focus on rhythm, but with a heaping dose of digital optimism. Tracks like “Pixel Haze” (which appeared previously on the Gonga EP) and “Intercruise” brim with enthusiasm and a distinctly melodic sensibility, with layers of synth leads and pads working in harmony to create a gorgeous result. But he’s not afraid to throw down some wild beatmaking, either; “Gonga,” previously released as the lead track on the EP of the same name, is a frantic, spastic wallop of programming and soaring, bending synths. And the title cut that leads the album is a frenzy of pitch bent loops and sounds that flit in and out of its chuggy halfbeat anchor. It’s a varied album with some handsome contrasts between breezier grooves like “Steel Sky” and “Discontinuum” and the more frenetic anthems of “Human Version” and “Solar Sail.” Of all of Ital Tek’s material I’ve heard, this album is perhaps my favorite. It’s such a spot-on fusion of his previous repertoire, current trends, melodic flair and something new. One of my favorites from 2012, much belated in posting here, but no less good now than it was the first time I heard it.