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|01 September 2017||
Dubit - Vitriol
Pier Alfeo, a.k.a. Dubit, is a sound engineer and music producer hailing from Molfetta, Italy. In his early career he built up a reputation for exquisitely detailed minimal and techno productions—most notably released on Serbian label Genesa Records—as well as being a significant, driving force behind the inception of one of techno's most fertile grounds right now—Several Reasons Recordings, but not before setting up his own imprint Soluxion Records in 2011. Alfeo also publishes under the pseudonym UNC—an alias he reserves for his techno productions these days, whilst his Dubit material now has a much more experimental focus. Vitriol takes form as an evolutionary revision of the sonic architecture we've heard rising from foundations, laid on his excellent contribution to WMMLP's Balanced LP, released on Concrete Records in 2014 and the outstanding Fragmenti LP, as well as his two tracks on the impressive Essence EP (a split release with Mynude) both released on Several Reasons Recordings in 2015. Dubit's repertoire is expanding dramatically and shows no sign of abating, his sound design has become all encompassing.
Incorporating and experimenting with any number of styles, he shows a particularly deft touch when applying acousmatic elements and manipulating field recordings—never is it more prevalent than on opener Visita, where glittering, jewel-like water droplets adorn a torrent of oscillating ambiance as a diamond necklace; Alfeo then injects the restrained melancholy with fractured harmonies. Same goes for Invenies, where he manipulates a range of wind and percussion instruments, rasping, throaty drones, and spasmodic clatter, which might strike an untrained ear as a badly organised, amateur band practice, but in reality it is a masterclass of an avant-garde production. A raw and heavily textured barrage on Interiora brings with it an expectant fervor—a wall of thunderous rhythmic noise builds steadily, whilst tension grows exponentially; when finally subdued, rather unexpectedly the piece reveals a beautifully crafted, ceremonial climax. Columba continues in this vein, only this time unleashing a wave of explosive tribal percussion in a ferocious, and frenetic, stripped down techno abstraction that's shrouded in a ghostly, atmospheric smog. Follower Tectum is a pure 16+ minute epic, a soundtrack to an unknown world—both exploratory and threatening—brought to life by eerily lurking tones, piercing harmonics, and shifting layers of percussion, in a coarsely textured landscape ultimately building to a stirring, and cinematic crescendo. Alfeo paints with a much darker palette on Terrae, where fearsome growling bass distortions and heavily resonant metallic ringing transports the mind into a cavernous, subterranean amphitheater, abound with glitched, twitching, and gaseous mutant FX; no question about it—this is an elemental journey. A watery theme emerges over the next couple of tracks: firstly, Rectificando, where bubbling break beats are filtered through a swirling current of sub-aquatic melodies; this theme continues on Dives, which announces itself with heavily stressed, metallic noise that begins to scream under the weight of severe pressure, and for a few moments sounds not dissimilar to the singing of whale; rumbling oceanic echoes join these industrial movements in the cold, murky depths. Alfeo manages to avoid, with consummate ease it has to be said, a potential catastrophe on the delightful penultimate track Occultum: marrying two unlikely bedfellows he punctuates the charming music box electronics with hardened, bruising, dub-loaded pulsations. Lastly, chimes step slowly through textured, buzzing ambiance on Lapidem—an indulgent closer that allows a pause for thought, spacious and reflective, much in the manner of catching one's breath after scaling a high peak, whilst admiring the panoramic vistas.
At his very best here, Dubit's compositions are nothing short of ingenious—further proof that he is on the cusp of joining some legendary figures in the world of electronic music, artists such as Mika Vainio, Autechre, and Kouhei Matsunaga, a select band of sonic mercenaries—true innovators, all of whose works relatively early in their careers could no longer be considered genre specific—choosing to go wherever their instinct takes them, with no regard for anything other than the free artistic expression of it. Vitriol is a feast for the ears, a ten-course banquet that is guaranteed to satisfy.
Words by b.yond.
Release Type: Album
Release Date: 01 September 2017
Release Format: Digital • CD
Record Label • Catalog: Backwards • BWD02