Portrait Of The Flying Sky presents a slightly more unkempt version of the producer's evolving sound. The smoothed-down bleeps and oil-slicked basslines of "Endorphinas" sit next to "Human Behaviour"'s decaying chords. The gristly acid groove in "Hydra" is faster and meaner than much of Cabrera's dub-soaked techno, and "Dementia," featuring Psynote, plunges into the deep end of a Planetary Assault Systems thrash. Half of Portrait Of The Flying Sky is a collaboration, which partly explains the detours onto rockier paths.
Dario Zenker's appearance shows us where Cabrera's strengths lie. "Nebula 584" is a slow-rising tide of orchestral synths and sticky, muted percussion, which subtly camouflages the producer's otherwise clear-headed sound. Elsewhere, Cabrera leafs through sci-fi techno tropes—they work well enough, but seldom improve on their archetype. "Caliban" welds satellite bleeps onto hi-hat flurries and gently undulating strings. One of the album's strongest moments, "Titania" has a chipped, glassy synth that reflects the artwork's constellatory fragments.
Cabrera's first full-length is a snapshot of an artist who, perhaps for the first time, has allowed himself to indulge in a wide range of electronic influences. (He also lists "post punk, rock, jazz, and rap" as formative touchstones.) And yet Portrait Of The Flying Sky sometimes feels overly dependent on its techno heritage. If history is any indication, though, Cabrera is unlikely to visit this space again.