A leading minimalist nods to trance and techno.
That's most striking on "A Story Behind Anything," where a smoldering atmosphere is embellished with fragments from gated vocals and proggy synths. The title track also has some curveballs: a groaning, sludgy low end, deadpan spoken word and a breakbeat snare. It creates a dark hypnosis I associate with meditative, post-industrial-influenced techno more than Romania's taste for simmering, textured grooves, so it's refreshing to see that influence surface here.
Yet The Real Is Not You feels constrained by the Romanian sound's rhythmic, aesthetic and emotional conventions. All four tracks deliver nimble hi-hats, bobbing basslines and trippy melodic themes. The nods to trance and winks to wavey techno are used as garnish, hints that are tantalizing but not entirely satisfying. On "A Story Behind Everything," for instance, the most striking bits dart in and out without developing into a full melodic idea. The strongest track, "The Human Malfunction Is Thinking," is also the safest. It's a slightly twisted and very minimal take on classic US house melodies with a catchy, rhythmic vocal. "A Story Behind Everything" and "The Real You is Not You" contain more interesting ideas, but it feels like Barac didn't fully commit to them.