New York minimalist Steve Reich recorded ‘Six Pianos’ in 1973 - Six pianists playing simple rhythmic patterns, the patterns drift in and out of phase creating a slowly ondulating, oddly symmetrical groove.
Now pick up this groove and play ‘First Wave’ by Daniel Martin-McCormick, aka Ital. Microscopic melodic and percussive patterns swirl slowly around a stoical bass line. ‘First Wave’ is a 10:23 minutes journey between dreaming and waking with its multiple layers moving at mellow speed.
‘First Wave’ is featured on ‘Hive Mind’, Ital’s debut album on UK indie Planet Mu. ‘Hive Mind’ presents five long, leisurely evolving tracks. ‘Doesn’t Matter (If You Love Him)’ starts off with a disorientingly cut-up, stuttering vocal sample like Laurie Anderson on steroids. ‘Floridian Void’ is the shortest track on the album, under 4 minutes, and creates a ghostly empty space devoid of rhythm before ‘Privacy Settings’ and ‘Israel’ begin a hypnotic slow jam - weighing in at over 10 minutes each. Check out the percussion break on ‘Israel’ between 7:13 and 8:17!
Daniel Martin-McCormick began his musical career as guitarist in the Washington DC hardcore band Black Eyes, which lasted from 2001-2004. Black Eyes were legendary for the wall of sound which emanated from their strictly symmetrical formation: Two drummers, two bass players and a guitarist in the middle.
Black Eyes legacy gives Ital’s music a different twist to many other electronic artists. The massive sound of a live band with two drummers and three amps turned up to full volume is mirrored in the dense soundscapes Ital creates on ‘Hive’. The symmetry of his former band’s interaction between instruments has found its way into how Ital lets different sounds call and answer to each other rather than rattling along in isolation.
‘Hive Mind’ is a refreshing take on discoid electronic music. The album is due out on Planet Mu with the catalogue number ZIQ312 on 13 February 2012. You can pre-listen to ‘Hive Mind’ here.
On a different note, our photo of Ital carries a ‘censored’ banner to draw attention to SOPA Blackout Day (18th Jan 2012) - an initiative that aims to educate about proposed US law changes which will likely bring sweeping censorship to the web and threaten to throw us back into the Dark Ages - Both technologically and philosophically speaking. Act now to preserve freedom of expression on the web.