Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Review: In Death It Ends – 'VVDV'


Porl King's In Death It Ends project has become a prolific beast. Tapping into witch house, proto-industrial, new wave, post-punk, and early goth he has released albums, EPs and free downloads at a rate that would make most other artists struggle to sustain for a year, let alone over the course of three consecutive ones. Best of all, the former Rosetta Stone and Miserylab founder shows no signs of letting up any time soon, nor is his particular brand of progressive, dark and mainly instrumental style of music.

The latest release from IDIE is another free self-released download in the form of 'VVDV'. Harking back to the more experimental releases in the projects already substantial back catalogue, such as 'Forgotten Knowledge', 'Analog Witch', 'Restorative Art', 'Analog Witch Trials', and 'Shrines'. The nine-track download sees a more minimalistic and experimental blend of darkwave and subtle industrial taking the centre stage.

Kicking off with the simple rhythms and bass line that accompanies so many IDIE releases the first track explores strained ambient strings and pads to weave a slightly discordant but utterly beguiling web of sound. The second track lets the bass take the lead for a more gothic rock flavour that builds with the introduction of the synth elements for a nice and cold groove. The third track has a more frantic rhythm and a tenser synth line that ups the tempo slightly and injects a little more energy into the track list. The fourth track keeps the tension that it's predecessor built and brings the bass groove back to the fore for a more minimal and atmospheric approach. Track number five then goes into a more twisted and psychedelic path with its melting bass and steady rhythm slightly permeated by hanging synths every so often.

Track number six is the most up-tempo bass groove yet and with it's blend of simple synth leads and steady dance pace it is by far the album's most approachable and dance-friendly cut. Track seven follows on nicely with it's Soft Moon style groove and rhythmic interplay before introducing more experimental synth elements to the mix as the song progresses. The penultimate track on the album strips things back to the core with a very simple bass, rhythm and subtle use of electronics to create a delicate mix. The final track on the album by and large covers the same ground as the previous few songs, however like the other tracks it is entirely unique and its steadily droning synths, simple lead and light distorted beats add an extra dynamic to the song which makes for a fitting closer.

As with all previous IDIE releases the production creates the illusion of low-fi without actually being so. The minimal nature of the songs allows King to craft a great sense of space in the mix, while the retro sounds hark back to he experimental beginnings of genres. Yet the quality of the recording is as high as you could want in a modern release and it continues to show off Kings skills as a producer.

This is another great and very individual release that will appeal to fans of IDIE's more minimalistic sounding releases, but still keeps that appeal that makes it approachable for those just dipping their toes in the water. It goes to show King can still keep things fresh and interesting despite the heavy release schedule.

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