I/DEX: Layers

All the way from the industrial city of Novopolotsk, Belorussia comes this deep ambient excursion by I/DEX, otherwise known as musician and audio-designer Vitaly Harmash. On his follow-up to 2003's Seqsextend (Nexsound), Harmash presents nine indexed settings that flow continuously into another, resulting in a fifty-one-minute recording of gentle electronic undulations and percolations. Anything but harsh, Layers inhabits the warm end of the digital music spectrum, a zone where pitter-pattering rhythms and glitchy streams of flickering melodic fragments bask in the electronic sunshine. The material turns Oval-like in “Altal” when lapping clicks collide with cloudstorms of glistening tones, and then grows rhythmically insistent during “Cene” in a way that suggests some tangential connection to Raster-Noton. A digi-dub dimension emerges when “Illude” adds vaporous smears to its palette, while “Antens” pushes I/DEX's sound to an even more ravishing level of intensity. Abundant in mico-detail, Harmash's densely layered yet tranquil material exudes a humane feel that belies its computer-generated origins (analogue synthesizers, radio, guitars, and field recordings are also used to generate his tracks). While listening to the album, one pictures summery landscapes filled with insect swarms and country ponds teeming with tiny organisms darting across the waters' calm surfaces.

January 2010