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Wisp

The Shimmering Hour

(Rephlex; US: 12 May 2009; UK: 27 Apr 2009)

Niagra Falls’ Reid Dunn picked an apt name for himself. While his brand of “Cornish Acid”-like IDM perfectly suits the Rephlex aesthetic (so much that he has been actively rumored next to Aphex Twin as the possible identity of the clandestine EP project currently known as the Tuss), he has done little to truly differentiate himself. For how moody and melodramatic The Shimmering Hour can be at times, it is not as engaging or memorable overall as one would hope.


Likewise, his first two full-lengths on Aaron Funk’s now-defunct Sublight label failed to truly stand out there, and only his Christmas EPs stand out of his complete discography. Make no mistake, his first long-player for Rephlex is full of juicy bass and cleanly separated glitch, as much as you would expect from the third full-length by an Aphex Twin-approved producer. Yet Wisp manages to blend his best ingredients into a brick wall of recognizable influences rather than using them to break that wall down. The unacquainted need something undeniably “Wisp” to sink their teeth into, a signature to remember him by.

Rating:

Author of blurbs, curator of playlists, and booker of shows, Alan Ranta has been plugging away at that music writing and programming thing since 2004. His brutally honest critical opinion has appeared in such publications as Exclaim!, CBC Music, PopMatters and Tiny Mix Tapes, and has been enlisted to help judge the Polaris Music Prize, Pazz & Jop, and Juno Awards. Based in East Van, he graduated with a BFA in music from Simon Fraser University in 2012. He's also a social media plague, cat whisperer, socio-political haranguer, Canucks fan, and one of the last remaining cowboys, with a butt that won't quit.


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