With the release of his debut LP ‘Drone Logic’ in 2013, Daniel Avery established himself as a creature of the night. Full of eerie, gloaming synths, acid bass and incisive rhythm, ‘Drone Logic’ was a record formulated in and aimed at the dancefloor.
After five years of touring though, his latest album, ‘Song For Alpha’, inhabits a more liminal space. Informed by the solipsism and transience of being on the road, ‘Song For Alpha’ presents emotive ambience as an equal counterpart to mechanic grid-music. Where ‘Drone Logic’ may have felt at home on a 3am dancefloor, ‘Song For Alpha’ is the end of the night - leading either to the after party or the pensive, hazy journey home.
Opener ‘First Light’ encapsulates this atmosphere perfectly with its oneiric synths and washes of melody. Movement is ever-present, yet it is tantalisingly deferred like on ‘Projector’ and ‘Citizen//Nowhere’ whose undulating rhythms are felt as if through the lassitude of a comedown.
There are still the melodically-charged techno numbers that Avery is known for on ‘Diminuendo’ and ‘Sensation’ but their inclusion amongst the atmospherics of ‘TBW17’ and ‘Embers’ shows Avery’s development.
Intended settings aside, ‘Song For Alpha’ demands repeated listening, finding its place oscillating between the ecstasy and dejection of experience.
Words: Ammar Kalia
Dig it? Dig deeper: Kelly Lee Owens, Ghost Culture, Erol Alkan
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