We Are Always Well Thank You


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We Are Always Well Thank You Review

by Rick Anderson

More inspired insanity from the King of Intelligent Dance Music (or, as the cognoscenti call it, IDM). Datach'i works somewhere this side of the abstract groove, reveling in deeply weird (and sometimes downright abrasive) tones and sonorities while almost always leaving a thread of rhythmic continuity in the mix. Sometimes, as on the slightly distressing "Free in a Box" and the surprisingly melodic "Merrily We Roll Along," he incorporates breakbeats that are hyperkinetically funky even by jungle standards; on the latter track, a splatter of phase-shifted and distorted sine waves leads into a 168 bpm breakbeat overlaid with a sweet and gently pretty chord progression. On the other hand, "Clown Man" is grooveless without being strictly arrhythmic, and the tweaked, jittery beats on "Memorandum" seem only tangentially related to the moody chords they're up against. That doesn't make those tunes less interesting, just a bit less immediately attractive. But attraction to this sort of music seems to be a matter of genetic predisposition more than anything else -- there are some people who simply can't help but be captivated by the deep structural contradictions, the sensuous textures, and the astringent tonal qualities of Datach'i's music. There are others for whom it's nothing but supremely irritating noise. Of course, some people feel that way about Bach, too. Their loss. Either way, in the end, this album illustrates how the ideas presented on Datach'i's debut have blossomed into a more realized sound, featuring a considerable number of melodic passages in place of the often nursery rhyme-like sounds found on the preceding album.

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