Daniel Avery

Song for Alpha

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Daniel Avery's astounding 2013 full-length Drone Logic tested the boundaries of what could be considered club music, adding shoegaze-like distortion and IDM experimentation to a heady mix of propulsive techno and electro, earning heaps of comparisons to electronic music's most celebrated acts during the '90s without directly aping them. Long-awaited follow-up Song for Alpha goes even further left-field, with the artist chiefly inspired by the more reflective moments of the clubgoing experience, resulting in another album which blurs the line between home listening and DJ ammo. There's no shortage of steady, hypnotic beats here, but this album seems more abstract and hazy compared to the electro-influenced club singles included on Drone Logic. Tracks such as "Stereo L" and "Slow Fade" are midtempo acid-ambient baths, weaving scintillating webs of cerebral beats and swirling fuzz. The latter track was given a typically otherworldly remix by Actress prior to the album's release, and it's not hard to liken the hissy, distant thump of cuts like "Projector" and "Sensation" to his work. While Drone Logic contained several appearances by Kelly Lee Owens, who has since become a star in her own right, this one only limits vocals to two brief, vaporous interludes. Instead of more overtly melodic, indie-friendly club tracks like "Knowing We'll Be Here," Alpha is primarily made up of potent audio hallucinogens like "Diminuendo" (which could pass for a remix of Teste's 1992 classic "The Wipe") or "Clear," which adds a flooding rush of distortion to pleasantly dancing astral synth loops. It might take more listens to connect with Alpha than with Drone Logic, but it's just as powerful and fascinating.

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