As cacophonous as it is sonorous—with bass so deep that I felt it down to the marrow in my bones on a cheap pair of Ear Candy headphones I use at the office—this is an example of the sort of IDM that audiences crave nowadays. It’s a sound that beckons listeners to follow on a trip to places far away, with magnificently thick dreams floating in a distance that contains mountains larger than any found in Lovecraft. Traveling between perfectly chill and getting ready to evaporate into the void is quite an accomplishment and the artist should be complimented for creating a valid path to an outrageous new world. I like the tracks “earth.fur,” “pineapple.moon” and “swan.dive” best on this collection—and now believe that there is hope for people still taking deep lessons from Kid A, Zaireeka, Ambient 1: Music for Airports and Dark Side of the Moon.
WURM’s approach to IDM is fantastically abrasive, perhaps more related to the industrial house music that came outta the City of Big Shoulders in the late ’70s and ’80s than to the implied pastoralism mentioned in the previous review. If you don’t know about that then please take 30 minutes to listen to anything from the Wax Trax! catalogue before proceeding with this deliciously art-damaged album. Given those sorts of influences, of course there are the requisite references to machinery as necessary demon (“Hardware” and “Decaying Circuits”) as well as intimations that this sort of sound signals a new tribalism (“Tribal Rites” and “Warlord”) that is transgressive in nature, rooted in carnality but full of obeisance to our robot overlords. The final two cuts on this album seem to amplify and endorse this sacred yet profane union of forces with noises straight from the “starry dynamo in the machinery of the night.”
Here’s a third flava of electro wizardry for listeners to consider. Blue? has a whimsical tone that sometimes verges on twee. That overarching pop concern is nurtured through the inclusion of syncopation, quirky instrumental choices and a self-mocking innocence that isn’t so much an updated version of Daniel Johnson as it is an alternate universe sighting of Ty Segall, except with this one bound to an ethic that includes the statement, “I’m not afraid to throw in a little auto-tune because I know kids dig it.” Regardless, there is plenty to dig on this album, but if you can’t tolerate They Might Be Giants, then stay the hell away. Serio, the best tracks on this include giant gems like “This Girl” and “Winter Isn’t That Cold:” And yeah, you’ve been warned.