Fusiphorm: You Am I

If titles like “Am I?” and “I Am…You!” suggest that Fusiphorm (real name Cyhl, pronounced “seal”) is suffering some kind of identity crisis on his latest Foundsound EP, there's clearly nothing confused about the material itself. A megaton of non-stop invention drops throughout the almost ten-minute “Am I?” with Cyhl weaving found sound rhythms and distorted voices into a bubbly mix that's amazing. After a floor-pumping kickdrum sets a jacking pace, patterns of tinkling clanks and scrapes appear, joined by a voice distortedly repeating the song's title in a mantra-like monotone. A mid-song breakdown places alternating voices at stage center with a single “Who am I?” surfacing before ricocheting wipes and swooping voices drive the piece home. Slowing the pace to a slinky groove on “I Am…You!,” Cyhl plays hypnotic ping-pong using the title's first two words and its mechanized third over a percolating pulse, followed by Someone Else's (Sean O'Neal) equally strong club-flavoured remix. This latest installment from the Philadelphia-based label, renowned for constructing minimal techno and microhouse tracks from fragmented samples and random field elements, confirms that the material currently emanating from the Microcosm and Foundsound camps keeps getting stronger.

January 2006