Peryman released a pair of EPs on Tri Angle two years ago (Preparations and Iterations) that loosened his music from its drum & bass roots to increasingly extravagant ends. The vistas were huge, the melodies howling, the moods abject. His debut LP, The Blue Quicksand Is Going Now, continues this trend, and it might be the moment where romanticism gets the better of FIS. The opening and closing tracks each hit maximum intensity within seconds, launching us into a boiling ocean of distortion. The effect is impressive, but as those moments repeat across nine cuts, the impact diminishes. Quicksand is essentially an ambient album, but it's so dense and tumultuous that listening all the way through can be exhausting. Tracks like "Ebb" and "Ak," perfectly decent on their own, are not well-served in context.
That said, actual misfires are scant. The quasi-hip-hop of "Social" gets lost in the mulch, and "Frost Pocket" makes a mess mixing blastbeats and gaseous voices. There are delights to be found elsewhere, like "Happy Alone"'s gorgeous bell-tone cascades, or the insectoid scratching of "Sub Larynx," one of the album's few quiet moments. "Pedal" might be the highlight—its muted pianos send eddies of percussion spinning out into the dark space around them. With The Blue Quicksand Is Going Now, Peryman teeters dangerously on the edge of the void. When he keeps his balance, his music remains astounding as ever.