By Molly McCowan
Imagine two gun-slinging, drooling aliens having a full-on extraterrestrial battle while floating through the cold, silent heart of deep space. Now try to think of the soundtrack behind that image. Not sure where to start? Look no further than Blank Matter, the newest release from an up-and-coming player in Denver’s electronica scene, Iuengliss (a.k.a. Tommy Metz).
That image may seem like a lot for one album to live up to, but, with Matter, Metz has created an electronic world cinematic in scope.
A drum ‘n’ bass meltdown complete with frenetic rhythms, sci-fi pulsations and 8-bit solos reminiscent of early video games (a phenomenon most prominent in a song labeled “AEFIresqd004”), Matter proves a quickly recognizable fact: These ain’t yo momma’s synth pads. These sound bytes are traveling through the throaty depths of a black hole – sometimes skyrocketing through sound and at others seeming to float delicately by.
The biggest mistake many experimental electronica artists commit is to forgo linearity; to build listeners up only to allow them to come crashing back down. Matter avoids this problem masterfully, consistently moving forward in a seamlessly transitioning path.
The album also includes videos for each song, creating a visual companion full of fantastically neon colors, pulsating soundwaves and trippy effects.
Blank Matter is sure to satisfy those of you with Aphex Twin, Venetian Snares or Squarepusher cravings. Never listened to this type of music before? Give it a try – it’s not for everyone, but this is a very rare example of how it can be done right.