Prima Materia is the full-length debut of Bluetech (aka Evan Bartholomew), who has made a name for himself with performances at the annual Burning Man festival and San Diego's Project Cathedral. For Materia, he builds IDM and ambient-influenced songs with the aid of the instrumental invention afforded by a Reaktor modular sound studio and a host of PC-based synths. This isn't an album of bass; rather, trebly rhythms ping and pong off one another as melodies form out of the ether. It's all very tasteful, but it's initially somewhat opaque, as the opening tracks tend to blend together with no real definition. Fortunately, Materia climbs out of its rut with a remix of Sounds from the Ground's "Triangle" as well as a whirring dub mix of "Prayers for Rain," which appeared in its original form on Bluetech's introductory EP for Truffle. Real, layered melody makes an appearance in "White Magnesia," and a few of the album's later tracks are able to more successfully mix whiz-bang software with song structure, so that Prima Materia doesn't become an aimless collection of IDM and ambient dub party tricks. Bluetech might have a ways to go, since his debut full-length's memorable moments are separated by stretches of sound-alike territory that are probably more navigable when one's mind is not as sharp. The edge of sleep, for instance, or after one has "fallen through the cracks of the world" that he references in his liner notes. Nevertheless, Prima Materia should appeal to fans of the Waveform label's famously spacy biorhythms.
AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus