On this upcoming split album, Modular Anxiety sees Dino Spiluttini and Nils Quak each deliver a release of excellent glitchy synth drone.
Dino Spiluttini’s half of the album is great, with synth drones providing most of the texture, while glitchy electronic noises create a certain vibrancy, giving the music a particular sense of dread. The opening track “Anxiety” really builds up a sense of dread and tension, with the dark drones creating an oppressive atmosphere, while eerie glitches add a sense of tension and uneasiness – it’s a great track, very dramatic. Theme for a bleak life is aptly melancholic, and also very uneasy sounding, with dense rumbling drones meandering their way along at a glacial pace, delivering a cold dark atmosphere. Overall his side of the album is very well structured, giving a fantastic sense of tension throughout. It’s very cinematic sounding – the soundtrack to events threatening to go badly wrong.
Nil’s Quak’s side of the album is different, his music is a lot less structured than Dino’s, and while he still builds a sense of dread and tension, he does this through atonality, experimentation and unpredictability. This, combined with his dark layers of drone, create a different atmosphere of anxiety to that presented on side one, with a sense of insanity and instability, instead of Dino’s one of impending doom. Octagonal Journey is a particular favourite, being very atonal and random – the sounds produced are jagged and strange, electronic and wonderfully inventive; the best way to describe it is eccentric. Because of this the track title is just perfect. Tropical spirals is also excellent, with layers of drones sweeping in and out, creating an excellent beautiful soundscape. It constantly pulsates and builds, with a combination of softer and more piercing drones weaving together, giving a calmer, more relaxed atmosphere to the album. It’s his more structured piece on the release, but still sounds very organic with a natural ebb and flow.
Overall the main theme running through this release is one of tension and anxiety. Dino Spiluttini produces this through a structured dark approach, building towards a dark and brooding atmosphere, while Nils Quak’s is more freeform; his tracks create a sense of dread from being more dissonant and atonal, being hard to predict and unstable. Both artists, despite their differences in terms of approach, have an end result which is very similar – a sense of dark anxiety, and as such the album title is very apt! It’s a very vibrant and interesting release throughout, highly recommended. My highlights are: Anxiety, Theme for a Bleak Life, Octagonal Journey and Tropic Spirals, though its a great release throughout.
Modular Anxiety is released by Umor-Rex records on 28th January 2014
Buy the album on gold vinyl here: http://www.umor-rex.org/portfolio/ur059/
Preview Anxiety from Dino Spiluttini and Tropical Spirals from Nils Quak here: http://umorrex.bandcamp.com/album/modular-anxiety