Aesthete – Obfuscation

3 out of 5

Label: Computer Club

Produced by: Aesthete

Computer Club, spinning out of the Central Processing Unit label, is the more experimental arm of that imprint.  CPU pursues the 90s IDM spirit, CC is on the cutting edge of what electronic music can be.

And Aesthete’s Obfuscation takes that opportunity to strip things down nearly as far as they can be stripped down: the four track LP almost exclusively consists of one, steady, clipped, manipulated beat.  It somewhat reminds me of Pierre Bastien, in that it has a very metronomic persistence to it, but occasional blips and boops off of the beaten path show off the human hand here.

After a few spins, I think it’s easier to digest what Aesthete is doing, but the spareseness is difficult to recognize as more than just a repeated beat at first.  For that reason, I’d say this is a better listen on headphones, or at least in a setup where you can get the full impact of the deviations of tone and range that pop up; they’re as minimal as everything on the release, but more directly pumped into your ears, these little hiccups have a nice impact.  Furthermore, repeat listens help to set expectations: once you’re done expecting breakout moments, you can just sink into the clicking beat, and again, better appreciate the changes when they occur, especially when “big” things happen, like when Plug One very momentarily freaks out now and again.