The German duo of Benedikt Frey and Nadia D'Alo sound like they've spent plenty of time poking around in those corners themselves, unearthing dusty krautrock, moth-bitten new beat and dog-eared acid. If Two Pole Resonance sounds like any previous Hivern release, it's probably closest to the label's 2013 remix EP for The xx. The resemblance is fleeting on a sonic level, and comes mainly from the way the male and female vocals intertwine on a track like "Talking About Talking." But, like The xx, Frey and D'Alo seem fascinated by the dance floor more as observers than anything else. On "Take A Long Walk," for example, D'Alo's voice is both as entrancing and unsettling as a Siren, but leads you above and away from the pulsing acid line and rumbling rhythm. "Blackbird" is the sound of clenched teeth paranoia: the lyrics intone, "Where do you sleep at night?," and the production plays like sinister echoes of the club thrashing about in your head after you've left.
The music itself belongs in a similarly liminal state: the noirish "Untitled Sympathy" is a trip through the colder outskirts of dub techno. Even when INIT do focus more on the dance floor—as with, say, "Shake Off Dust"—the electronic riffs feel stretched out and goopy, the beats rattling like loose nails. And for all the space in the production, which reflects the pair's shared history in sound design, tracks like "Blind End" make Two Pole Resonance feel claustrophobic, with refrains about "choking you to death." The title track is an exception, building over 15 minutes from an ambient intro to gaseous synths and on into its final maelstrom. It's lighter in texture but not in tone, reveling in the same gloom as the rest of the album. Within the darkness of Two Pole Resonance, INIT's talents burn bright.