3 out of 5
Produced by: Brian Durr
The general song structure of Diskotopia label founder’s new BD1982 cassette – Decades Tempest – is alluring: organic, jungle-tinged drums overlain with cold and tight IDM clicks and stutters and then hazed with dancefloor vocals and a sweaty house forward momentum. But – if that description sounds like every electronic cat in the bag – yes, and it’s tough being all things all the time. When Brian Durr, as BD1982, scores, it’s sick and dense and grimey and good: opener Chrome20 is convincing, with its stuttery beat and stop-start rhythm, but followup Wind Rider has trouble congealing its various pieces, feeling like Durr got the core layers down he wanted to, but couldn’t urge them into a song. The next track, Madripoor Nights, bring in the digitalized vocals, for a sultry number that works with both the dance-til-dawn song title and memory whirlwind album title… but Sovereign Cities is back to an unfocused collection of sounds.
And so it goes for the album, back and forth, Durr gaining momentum on a track, and then delivering something somewhat uninspired seeming – at least as a cohesive song – on the next track. That opener, and past the midpoint, Last Rites, prove that this mish-mash can result in some incredible moments, and an overall half of the album is solid, if just shy of being as impressive as these cuts. But that other half, comprised of interesting ideas, never quite lands a solid beat.