Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Aftertime - Roly Porter (Subtext)

It’s vexing for an ex-dubstepper of the exploratory kind to find himself trapped in sonic cage, so he must break out, as Porter has, to make something new. It may not be New Music as in ‘avant-garde’, but it does see the iron bars of his old genre cage hacked to pieces. Shards of the past do remain here in the form of some sub bass, but it’s so mangled as to transform its common purpose on the ‘floor into one of purely cerebral sonic distortion.
   Porter confesses to preferring the beatless elements of his former unit, Vex’d, so here he indulges in just that, beatless forms that breathe heavy, as opposed to plaintively sighing like so much ambient froth. More than breath, they positively snarl, but on ‘Corrin’, for instance, are perfectly juxtaposed by sweeping strings in a suitably minor key. This is, after all, an album ‘about a time when all people have died’, and depicts that imaginary landscape in a truly post-apocalyptic fashion. This is after the war with the machines, and guess who won?
   Porter avoids the droning doom by numbers route by skilfully arranging the elements, weaving textures to create tension and depth, with just the right combination of bite and melancholic grandeur. A very impressive album.

Interview with Porter here.

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