(CD - Tri Angle #TRIANGLE 32CD)

Review by Heather Phares

With his first full-length, Houston-based producer Rabit (aka Eric Burton) proves once more why he's a perfect fit for the Tri Angle roster and a circle of friends and collaborators that includes Mumdance, Logos, and the Janus collective. Like many of those artists, he takes grime's violent bleakness to new heights (or should that be depths?) as he shatters its boundaries. Arriving just a few months after the Baptizm EP, Communion's wider scope allows Rabit to address issues of sexuality, gender, and widespread corruption with a charged viewpoint. While it's more challenging for instrumental music to address politics explicitly, a feeling of violation permeates the album. "Advent" begins Communion with a brutal statement of purpose: its beats evoke gunshots, punches and machines run rampant, and the album rarely lets up from there. Rabit's sound design is worthy of a horror movie, balancing lingering dread with gory outbursts. "Flesh Covers the Bone" evokes David Cronenberg-style body horror with its cardiovascular beat and the monitor-like beeps of its synths; "Fetal" stutters and explodes; and the backing vocals on "Artemis" sound like cries for help. Over the course of the album, Rabit establishes himself as perhaps the most futuristic of Tri Angle's terror-makers, or at least the most relentless. On songs such as "Ox" and the harrowing single "Pandemic," the pauses between the slicing, pummeling, squirming textures feel more like Rabit is reloading than catching his breath. To his credit, he includes enough different shades of menace on Communion to avoid monotony. The low-slung bass and sustained beats of "Burnerz" approach conventional club music but are still decidedly unsettling, while the delicacy of "Glass Harp (Interlude)" sounds even more vulnerable placed among the rest of the destruction. A haunting debut, Communion finds Rabit living up to his potential in stark, beautifully ugly and angry ways.

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