Album Review: Ital / ‘Dream On’ (Planet Mu)


Ital seems in much more of a hurry than when Hive Mind condensed ambient dance for a generation always on the move into something you could power down to in your lunch break. Again working to a compact schedule (and again making you wonder why he doesn’t go all out on the album format, compounded by the too-short-for-anything “Housecapella”), Daniel Martin-McCormick starts with busy house pinched by synth slingshots to enjoyably mess up your preparations. As it transpires, it’s only the tip of an iceberg that becomes more and more treacherous.

“Boi” rummages through footwork/dubstep backstreets, excitingly putting the frighteners into a Beyonce sample. Abrasions reach a high on the scalded Waterfalls mix of “Eat Shit,” trying to hold onto industrialism and continuing the image of Ital picking a mood like he’s poring over a menu of tapas, but drawing out each dish. Typically, what lasts three and a half minutes seems to put ears through 12 rounds.

Now it’s a campaign to scorn concepts of cleanliness and continuity. The testing, stone-faced deep techno grind of “Enrique” jangles its keys to the gateway to hell, and “What a Mess” piles up chaotic, histrionic electronica. Even “Deep Cut,” a tracky house vibe with a household bassline pedigree, gets hit on by scything synth washes, as Martin-McCormick finds this release’s best accessory is lashing out.

File under: Ben UFO, Mi Ami, Mouse on Mars