With 1998's PHOLCUS, French foursome Tone Rec redirects its deconstructive efforts toward a Seefeel-like hybridization of post rock and techno. The band brims with confidence on this second album, clipping brittle, homespun breakbeats from accelerated drum loops, micro-processing instruments into shimmering tonal clouds and slashes of noise, and developing complex structures out of concise samples.
PHOLCUS' title track opens from a wobbly rhythm into a tempered mix of glitch-hop beats and star-streaming ambience. "Grasping With the Whole Hand" and "Koh's Eye Reflex" add in luscious swirls of synth sound, shattered beats, and reversed drum tracks, making Tone Rec's textural amalgam even more attractive. The deeply atmospheric "Voice Onset Time" is infested with the mandible chatter of cracked and compressed electronics--a truly chilling effect. Strange noises also scythe and ricochet through the void of "Looming" and graze the rutted breakbeats of "Parallel Distributed Processing." Tone Rec favors forbidding textures throughout PHOLCUS, but "Failure of Theories" injects a little welcome humor with a brief burst of Latin pop and sampladelic overload.