Daniel Martin-McCormick's already established himself as a ubiquitous presence on the experimental music scene. From his spot in defunct DC hardcore band Black Eyes, throaty disco-punkers Mi Ami or with the weirdo glam of Sex Worker, Martin-McCormick's seemingly already made a virtual tour of musical niches, nooks and crannies. Beginning last year though, Martin-McCormick began releasing long, unspooling FX-laden house as Ital. With two of the year's more prominent singles in "Ital's Theme" on scene-defining boutique sub 100% Silk and "Culture Clubs" on Lovers Rock, Ital reconfigured himself anew as one of the more intriguing sonic craftsmen in the lamely-tagged "hipster house" scene.
There's been a rough, low-spun quality to Ital's detour laden creations, one that somehow sounds patently contemporary and ever-indebted to classical house and 40+ years of experimental electronic getaways. He's got a sly way with melody; his tracks always feel highly elastic, elongated almost to the point of a-recognition, like they've been stretched and drawn out until they reveal themselves only several minutes in. His debut LP, Hive Mind, follows in the vein of "Ital's Theme" by focusing on warm, softly throbbing textural slides over insistent 4/4 rhythms to forge a kind of day-drifted vagabond music akin to the work of acts like Blondes or The Miracles Club.
From the moment the choppy, stumble-drunk funk of "Doesn't Matter (If You Love Him)" begins, fronted by samples of both Lady Gaga and Whitney Houston, Martin-McCormick stages his brand of strident, strobe-burst expansionism. With its slow, warbling intro, "Floridian Void" sounds like the sun-deadened soundtrack to one of JG Ballard's Vermilion Sands stories, with its 4/4 rhythms slowly forcing the wavering synth lines beyond their dazed circling, while "Privacy Settings" is deeper, headier, its horizon-wide synth swaths leading the way across soft clicks and radiant chords. "Israel," meanwhile, undercuts tubby bass and its choppy beat with samples that sound like the erratic, error-prone bells of a train-track crossing stitched into song, before another of Martin-McCormick's colorful synth washes overrides it all.
As closer "Final Wave" enters with the sound of washed-out strings and its deep house stroll—from the surface, arguably the most traditional moment on the entire record—you can hear Martin-McCormick tugging at its classical foundations, filtering in new noises and folding back others, tinkering with FX and leaving the listener uncertain of his footing in a way that recalls some of the more feverish work of Theo Parrish. It's deeply satisfying both as a home head-nodder and a floor-rush, and a creation that's likely to draw far more fans to Ital's work than the beardo beats crowd the blogosphere's worked so hard to associate him with.
Buy Ital - Hive Mind at
Tracklist: Ital - Hive Mind 01. Doesn't Matter (If You Love Him)
02. Floridian Void
03. Privacy Settings
05. First Wave
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