Pure, Beyond Reproach

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Canadian producer Egyptrixx (David Psutka) was always one of the more boundary-pushing acts on London's forward-thinking club label Night Slugs, and ever since he departed the label and established his own Halocline Trance imprint, he's drifted even further left-field. Arriving in 2015, Transfer of Energy (Feelings of Power) felt like a sparsely attended but enormously exciting rave inside an abandoned factory with marvelous architecture, and Psutka's subsequent album under the pseudonym Ceramic TL felt like spending a terrifying night in the same factory, unaccompanied but for the presence of ghosts. Returning to Egyptrixx but remaining on Halocline Trance, the 2017 release Pure, Beyond Reproach feels like Psutka has escaped the nightmarish factory and is finding a bit of solace in nature. The album is filled with rushing water sounds, as well as synth tones that often sound like crystals raining from the sky in rhythmic waves. There's still industrial-like clanging percussion, but it lacks the bass-heavy propulsion necessary to do the job in a club environment. Yet it still figures into the "deconstructed club music" category, as it seems designed with bodily expression in mind. The rhythms are there, they're just slower, more detached, and surrounded by much more atmospheric elements than one might be expecting. A couple of tracks feature vocodered warbling and seem to hint at a fondness for new wave, particularly "Anodyne Wants to Ammo." "Plastic Pebble (Beat)" is as dark and aggressive as the album gets, with beats that blast yet still shimmer, and tension bringing to mind Kuedo. Far from ordinary, Pure, Beyond Reproach is a trippy, dreamlike album that finds Egyptrixx further abandoning dance music conventions, resulting in some of his most fascinating work yet.

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