D’Arcangelo – Periscope EP

5 out of 5

Label: Analogical Force

Produced by: D’Arcangelo

Deserves to be listened to loud, and multiple times.

Across the years, the brothers D’Arcangelo have slippery slid across several electro genres, accurately described as such because they’ve never quite lost their defining icy edge. Even when the sound is “warmer,” there’s an echo-y distance to it; and whether they’re playing up IDM or acid or chill, that aspect is in effect, which generally merits the above directions: it makes you want to listen to their albums at a deeper, and often.

Periscope, their 2015 EP that kicked off the who’s-going-to-shout-the-loudest-about-being-the-next-Rephlex electro label Analogical Force, is another stunner that maintains this D’Arcangelo precept, while also being one of the most subdued things they’ve released, which only enhances the loop of turning it up and hitting repeat, as you catch a little more wiggly nuance each time.

I have a similar loop, overall, with any new D’Arcangelo recording: I’m hyped off of my memory of the previous album or EP, and that leads to an admitted sense of underwhelment when I finish my go-around on the next one. But the last song or so will have some weird IDM element that hooks me, and I figure I’ll give the thing another spin. Lo and behold, now it sounds a little better, and I pick up the pieces of that last song elsewhere on the recording… Periscope, vibing with that aforementioned subtlety, was that experience to the extreme. In part because the album caps with an excellent remix by Kettel of the opening track, which sounds like classic 90s IDM and exactly plays up all of the elements D’Arc was holding in restraint; and in part because the non-remix track leading into this is also a good “summary” of what you’ve missed, segueing between the EPs more downplayed sounds and its edgy, icy, acid goodness.

So back to the start, the seemingly laidback TimeLss sounds so much more dense, and intense, poking and prodding its slick beats to a stunning conclusion, which leads into funkier tracks Innocent Degree and Few Envy Attic, the latter being an all-timer in the D’Arc catalogue for mixing an almost hip-hop shuffle with the record’s other sounds…

Anyhow, headphones are recommended to bring all of this stuff out, or you can just turn it up really loud. Either why, D’Arcangelo fans, if they’ve ears similar to mine, might start out a little unimpressed, but give it time: Periscope is one of their top releases, and covers a lot of ground in only a few tracks.