The follow-up to Foil Splinters finds Nonima (Tam Ferrans) and Dissolved (Paul Daniels) continuing to engage in IDM/industrial exercises, providing brain food for the dance floor. The artists are close enough in timbre to co-exist, trading tracks throughout the course of the album and meeting in the middle for a welcome collaboration. The mastering is both full and crisp, making the digital copy sound as clear as a 12″.
While Nonima loves a persistent bass, his beats wander far afield. On “Qiameth”, they percolate on the surface rather than beneath, while the synth patterns provide the underpinning. The slower, shorter “Dropperclear” is the exception, offering a deep bass beat throughout, while “Gravity Prescription” adds the sound of a clock. His only beatless track, “Miresa”, is moody and deep, setting the stage for the entire album and exposing the sinew beneath the skin.
Dissolved resurrects the classic Front Line Assembly sound in both melody and song title. The artist’s contributions contain shifts in instrumentation (1:34 of “Biotrophic Emitter”) and boast multiple layers. The songs cast a wistful spell, longing for a distant past while soldiering into the future. “Reassembled Vision” contains an especially beautiful harpsichord-like passage, reminding listeners that the allure of industrial dance music was never found solely in harshness, but in the contrast between harshness and tenderness. Film samples provide another link to the works of classic industrial bands, as does the artist’s single ambient track (Tetrachomacy Collapse”).
The two team forces for the head-nodding “Slake Chase”. Dominated by rhythm yet anchored by its synthesized organ, the track teases us once again with thoughts of a full collaboration. The field of industrial/IDM is ripe for a resurgence. While both artists are busy with their own projects, we are looking forward to hearing them record together again. (Richard Allen)