Lockbox: Spiritual Malware (Primordial Void, 2021)

August 29, 2021 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Lockbox: Spiritual Malware

Hausu Mountain alumni Lockbox (Jesse Briata) found a new home at Primordial Void a few years ago, and his latest opus is 22 tracks and 78 minutes of adventurous, intricately crafted electronics, with some selections composed using the E-mu Modular System at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Still as trippy and playful as his past work, this altogether feels more defined. The styles flow from analog IDM to epic techno to deconstructed club (just hear the jumpy “Syber”), all logically flowing from the same headspace. “Juice Spiral” starts with gurgly Bogdan Raczynski pitch-altered vocals over stiff but chilled-out beats, which ride out for nearly 10 minutes. There’s other extended tracks like that one, but Briata recognizes the value in immediacy. “Spoilers” is a short burst of high-speed cool-toned IDM, “Aon Centre” is brisk sunshiney techno, and “Biocontainment Unit” is clean and precise bio-rave. A few moments are a little looser and more meandery, but there’s still a spike of dream energy to them. “Mommy” is a funtime junglist breakcore choon, but I can detect at least a little bit of longing for simpler times buried inside all the neon break choppage. By the end, we’ve drifted away from in-the-moment rave excitement and we’re floating in a heat-resistant bubble up in the sky.

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