2 out of 5
Label: Central Processing Unit
Produced by: Tom Knapp
Interestingly experimental IDM that, ultimately, doesn’t evolve its experimentations enough, leading to tracks with expansive runtimes that allow for tedium to set in.
Each of the four cuts on SDEM’s ‘Index Hole’ has promise, though only the B-side really gets there. Things certainly start off with a bang, as Arc Rail unleashes a torrent of Come to Daddy-era drum rollicking, waves after waves, over a fuzzing, ambient background layer. The mishmatch is fascinating, but the track has no structure beyond this – the drums pause here and there, but we might as well be listening to a loop; there’s no range. BX16 follows a similar template, exchanging the fast-paced pitter-patter for a downbeat groove. In snippets, this is super alluring, it’s just that it’s so unchanging that you end up tuning out, or waiting for the track to end.
Over on the B-side, SDEM pushes things out a bit further with Mitherer, which distorts its beat to a static-y Hell – noise IDM. But I dig this; I like the wavering between rhythm and aural wash. The bulk of this track still suffers from sameyness after a few minutes, but the very end starts to perk up, tweaking the mix and turning it a bit inside out. Those final moments suggest what a more dynamic version of this EP could’ve been.
Thankfully, we end well: 6448 is fairly standard IDM – offbeat rhythms, counterpuntal synths – but that’s not a bad thing by any means, and it shows the control SDEM has over their abilities. It’s a redemptive, head-bobbing track.
I’m not at all against the experiments SDEM otherwise attempts on the single, but they don’t hold up well enough beyond their core concepts to bear repeating listens.