Ideepsum's December 23rd release date symbolised the passing of a baton. Intentional or not, the period is known for a holiday tradition—in 2012, 2014 and 2015, [a:rpia:r] dropped records around Christmas. Having put out just three releases in the last four years (between 2008 and 2012 it had ten), the label is now close to dormant, replaced by Metereze, the outlet run by the group's cheeriest member, Raresh. Unlike [a:rpia:r], Metereze isn't a minimal label per se—it's rooted instead in classic tech house. Most of its records have more in common with '90s dance tunes than with, say, Petre Inspirescu, and the same goes for the rolling, bottom-heavy Ideepsum.
The first of two side-long cuts, "Yet Again," is a 13-minute masterpiece. Sublee layers barely there vocals, astral synths and faint melodies atop a pumping, eighth-note bassline. As it recalls the atmospheric tech house of Wulf N' Bear's "Raptures Of The Deep," it's little wonder why Raresh gave it a full side—the 1995 classic is one of his favourite tracks. "Space Dive" shares its cosmic touch, again pairing spacey synths with a heaving low-end. There's even a half-time broken-beat section, seldom heard in modern house and techno but commonplace in the '90s. "Rumbletrouble," the most obvious peak-time cut, is another a dance floor killer, with sporadic drum fills and a looped synth riff that would be euphoric in the right DJ's hands.
Sublee's knack for classy flourishes take already solid tracks to another level. Tribalist percussion often gives way to breakdowns, but the complexity of the remaining elements makes these respites exciting. Take the driving "Mimistake," a masterclass in tension and release, where the introduction of a synth half a bar before the return of a snappy kick drum pattern intensifies a breakdown's impact—subtle tricks like this keep the energy high without making Ideepsum's many pauses overbearing. Across the album, loops only stay the same for a short time, as ethereal voices and nimble melodies evolve, pan from side-to-side or duck in and out of frame.
Every part of Ideepsum sounds obsessed over. (Even DJs who spend too long in the mix are looked after with ambient outros.) As minimalists to the west of Sublee ditch loops for more dynamic structures, Ideepsum reminds us of the power of patience, steady groove and a delicate touch.