The solid comeback of a key electro project.
Donald contributes two beatless tracks, and the shorter "Supernova Remnant" stands out. It has all the standard touches, with uncanny synths floating in the background and a bassline that feels both heavy and brittle as it crawls along. The arpeggiated lead doesn't quite sync with the low-end as some chords do their thing in the background. It shouldn't work but it creates an uneasy atmosphere reminiscent of the best, and simplest, Arpanet tracks. "Main Sequence Star" is more anxious, with a snaky lead underpinned by a click that keeps time. Like "Supernova Remnant," it's uniquely spooky. The best part is also the starkest, fading out into a synth passage that gradually dissipates into silence.
30Drop's tracks feel like fluorescent lights compared to Arpanet's flickering candles. "Disharmonic Gait" has a Detroit-inspired warmth, while "Halo In The Glass" tries a little too hard to sound atmospheric. Neither have the spacious emptiness that makes Arpanet so captivating. Either way, Phases is a good electro EP that shows Gerald Donald is still one of the sound's key forces.