PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
Music

Ital Tek: Hollowed

Ital Tek releases this year's best album to date.


Ital Tek

Hollowed

Label: Planet Mu
US Release Date: 2016-03-18
UK Release Date: 2016-03-18
Amazon
iTunes

Ital Tek has made a nearly perfect album, wherein each note and beat contains an intimate history of Alan Myson's decade-long artistic development. From Hollowed's pensive opening track, "A Delicate Balance", to "Vacuum I's" understated pads and lithe rhythms, the latter the equivalent to a person's heart beating at the pace of a panic attack, Myson's compositions descend into the abyss without fearing the endless fall. Darkened textures and mixed samples of hellish discord tie together the theme of vast emptiness. And how that emptiness translates into something acoustic instrumentation often fails to do, Ital Tek creates future beat's version of the Cure's Pornography.

To create the droning textures and vast spaces for them to dwell, Myson isolated himself in a brand new studio and returned to the genesis of his childlike desires to create music. What began with guitars, effects pedals, and minidiscs at 14 years of age was not abandoned entirely, just put on hold. Expressive like Burial's earliest efforts, Ital Tek found freedom from dubstep rhythms. Now, the rhythms adhere to Myson's vision. "Redeemer" rapidly pans thin snare textures while voices swell and repeatedly shrink, drowned in reverb. The track, more importantly, the vocals themselves, never arrive anywhere.

Embracing both EDM and industrial music's finest tools, "Cobra" strikes at the core of future beat's newest occupant of the throne. Less an ode to industrial music than evolving its stereotyped identities, the beat borrows from EDM's basic structures -- drums and percussive features, scurrilous synth lines, drops, vocals samples; Ital Tek, on the other hand, breaks free from dubstep's predictable formula, lowering itself into space and betraying the martial rhythm patterns for infinite space and time.

"Memory Shard" resonates the continued theme of despair. Gated vocal samples cut through syncopated rhythms with a dull, rusted blade. On the slab is memory's cadaverous corpse -- a painful reminder that what traumatizes us makes or breaks us in the end. Beauty restlessly emerges from the pain. "Aquamarine" thrusts itself to the bottom of the ocean. Frenetic hi-hats expose the difficulty of dismissing what it means to be human, even in dubstep's shallow contexts. Hinting at his transformation since releasing Nebula Dance, uptempo bangers, like "Pixel Haze", demonstrated the panoramic expansiveness despite being constrained by its two-step structure. The space between rhythm and sound becomes undone toward "Pixel Haze's" end: a brief glimpse into the artist's wish to do more with even less.

These days, Ital Tek appears more like an outlier on Planet Mu's roster. By the same contention, Venetian Snares and Burial also appear more like misfits on a heavily populated island of other misfits. The underlying difference here is Ital Tek's most individualized moment. What Myson shares with the artists above is invention through progression. Hollowed demonstrates the humanity of electronic music, particularly in a time when critics of EDM and dubstep have declared both genres dead. The term "terminus" possesses a dispassionate connotation: an extreme end. For Mayson, what ends with Hollowed is the journey to discover the shadows within himself. Likewise, the track "Terminus" gracefully embraces that very darkness. No other album made by the countless electronic composers delves this deeply into places people fear to face.

9

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.

Film

15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.

Music

Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.

Music

Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.

Music

Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.

Music

Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.

Music

Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.

Film

The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.

Music

British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.

Film

Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.

Music

​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.

Music

The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.

Music

Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.

Television

How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.

Music

Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.

Music

CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.

Music

Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.

Music

While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.