steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Electronic Barnacle Island

"Deeply Faulted Area Resembling an Upright Deck of Cards" CD

KiraKira Disc

Genres: IDM, electronica

May 10 - 16 2004

IDM is a genre riddled with such a colossal mass of artists that much of it ends up sounding homogenous and unoriginal.  Its innovators have created truly unique works, but since then too many imitators have flooded the scene.  Electronic Barnacle Island, the moniker of Aaron Noel, plays nice - but far from amazing - electronica.  The problem with this disc, wordily titled Deeply Faulted Area Resembling an Upright Deck of Cards, is that it doesn't offer anything that hasn't been done before.  It's an unspectacular selection of songs that are done well - but not extraordinarily so.

EBI's tunes sound like a combination of Aphex Twin's complexity, Mouse on Mars's melodic sensibility, and Autechre's appealing experimentation.  "Colourfloor," for example, takes cues from early AFX (the non-ambient side) and combines this sound with Niun Niggung-esque tunefulness.  The combination is quite pleasant.  "Chance to be Hollow," meanwhile, wouldn't feel out of place on a Kreidler disc.

Overall, Deeply Faulted is far from the pros in terms of musical quality, but its spirit and general pleasantness propels it above most IDM imitation releases out there.  This is worth a shot, though it may not suffice for the true techno connoisseur.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 8 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]