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17 September 2015

Bovaflux:
Hermetic Peaks (Recycled Plastics)

Eddie
Symons has been creating music as Bovaflux since 2000, and Hermetic
Peaks
is his latest effort, released by American indie label Recycled
Plastics. Around the time Symons started the project is what I’d
consider the golden age of post-Autechre IDM. It felt at the time
like the most logical and elevated culmination of tightly crafted
beats and melodies, usually with either a playful or wistful tone.
Bovaflux channels much of that ethos throughout the album, with a
clear focus on melody and musicality. While Symons’ talents as a
technician come through strongly on most of these tracks, it is the
combination of melodic leads and counterpoint basslines that leaves
the most lasting impression. A track like “Bell Drops”
would feel right at home on a label like Neo Ouija or n5MD, while
“Moments2” shows off Symons’ interest in more than melodies
with its co-opting of chiptune and 8-bit sounds. But that’s only
fleeting before his leads take center stage, particularly the
portamento lead that recalls so many classic ยต-Ziq and Aphex tracks.

Hermetic Peaks by Bovaflux

Those who may have lamented the shortage of tried and true IDM over
the last few years ought to be satisfied by the melodic twists and
turns of Hermetic Peaks, carrying on the legacy of labels like Worm
Interface, Toytronic, Neo Ouija, and late 90s Warp. More energetic
and tightly sequenced numbers are complemented occasionally by a
slower groove like “Hello Old Friend” or the quiet closing
track, “It’s not Complicated.” However, most of the time,
the tempo moves at a good clip, with several tracks making overt nods
to traditional breakbeat electro. “Coriolis” and “Quantic”
have all of the stride of prime Metamatics releases, underpinned by a
steady electro beat but riding high more so on the sheer confidence
and ease of its melodies. If there’s any criticism of Hermetic Peaks,
it’s in its loyalty to sounds of yore, not necessarily bringing much
new to the table. But its allegiance to vintage electro and IDM,
coupled with Symons’ knack as a producer, gives the album plenty of
appeal, particularly to those who may long for IDM that relies
equally on the sum of its parts: intelligence, danceability, and
musicality.

Buy it: Bandcamp

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