Published on April 16th, 2018 | by voxx0
Daniel Avery – Song for Alpha
Techno scales new heights on the producer’s epic return…
A former alternative rock fan who came late to the rave party, DJ-turned-producer Daniel Avery remains an outlier, inspired as much by My Bloody Valentine’s expansive drones as he is by European electronica. As a result, his 2013 debut Drone Logic twisted techno into radical new shapes. Delivering club-friendly beats with expansive ambition and adventure, it proved there was life beyond the grid-like minimalism which had locked down dancefloors for much of the previous decade.
This epic return builds on that sense of ambition, proving even more far-reaching as it shows Avery has lost none of his nonconformist tendencies. Shaping sound with a virtuoso flourish, it’s as if he’s discovered a hidden menu in his software synths that gives his productions physical form, not least the almost 3D presence of the globular, lava-lamp mutations on ‘Projector’.
Avery has always had a forensic ear for detail, but over the course of Song For Alpha’s hour-plus running time he achieves an almost architectural sense of scale. The thudding bass on ‘Sensation’ provides the anchor for skyscraping arcs of prickly, skin-tingling static, while ‘Slow Fade’ reinvents ’90s IDM in a holographic rendering that wraps blurred harmonics around a dense rhythmic core.
Some of the shorter pieces drift by, but the pulse-quickening beat and cavernous echo of ‘Diminuendo’ evokes the vast, sepulchral interiors of megaclubs such as London’s Fabric, where Avery was once a resident DJ. Drone Logic opened the door to such spaces, but his latest creation should inspire an even greater sense of wonder.
- By Jake White