On Dundov's fifth album, At The Turn Of Equilibrium, none of that has changed. The songs are long, the synths are bright and the melodies are soaring and dreamy. If there's any difference between this record and Dundov's last few, it's his increasingly exploratory nature. He writes songs that go somewhere, like they could soundtrack an expedition. These tracks are among his most intrepid, never ending close to where they began. "The Lattice" carefully weaves itself into an ecstatic tizzy, building layer by layer until it's a wall of sound. "Midnight Orchestra" includes nylon strings and synthetic brass in a ten-minute journey that's appropriately symphonic. The pounding, gated-drum workout "Mist" sounds ripped from some long lost adventure film.
There's a focus on instrumentation here that highlights Dundov's ear for ornate arrangements. Drum fills are used more like narrative elements than time-keeping devices, while chilly piano and vocal pads lend "Before It All Ends" a subtle anxious edge. On the album's two ambient tracks, "New Hope" and "Then Life," Dundov shows what he can do without a driving rhythm holding things in place. The results are wonderful—he has a knack for using spacey synth tones to express schmaltzy melodies, a skill that evokes Pink Floyd and Jean-Michel Jarre.
After the relatively short interlude "New Hope," At The End Of Equilibrium closes with two 12-minute tracks. For an artist whose always had a keen understanding of arrangement, narrative and sequencing, the way Dundov ends the album feels cumbersome. "Missing You" and "Everlasting Love" are also among his looser tracks, trading the tight patterns of "The Lattice" and the menace of "Before It All Ends" for something more spacious and sentimental. If the rest of the album is an expedition, this is where Dundov gets lost.
In his 2012 review of one of Dundov's best records, Philip Sherburne said, "With Petar Dundov, you always know what you're going to get." He excels at one very specific kind of techno, and with each record he keeps finding new wrinkles in the sound. The theatrical scale of tracks like "Midnight Orchestra" and "The Lattice" make Equlibrium another step forward, not to mention a fan pleaser.