this is the second release for u-cover - a label that gradually establishes itself on idm scene sharing the success and benefiting from creative genius of koen lybaert, a restless soul that is known for starfish pool and myriad of collaborations.
it would be easier to describe the music by pointing out what it isn't. although quench has been released on the same label with starfish pool, it lacks the persistent rhythm explorations and density of textures, remaining funky, unexpected and quiet. this peacefulness could be deceptive - if you relax and let the music trick you into believing that this is a strange clone of bola or boards of canada, you will be thrown off by unexpected turns, breaks, random noises, heavy beats that stand out of the track texture breaking it apart (funckarma birthday mix of "magleb"). all of the above really is not aimed at creating an atmosphere, something that those skam artists are after; quench seems to be fascinated by meticulously constructed percussion passages that seem to live a live of their own.
roughly half of this album is definitely "music for the mind" requiring close attention to details rather than simply enjoying the moods; it is built as sound collage of bizarre cut-up percussion that never reaches the homogeneity of sound introduced by autechre (that essentially appears to be using the same sound elements). sharp splinters aim at many directions, while soft and fuzzy analog treats hide deep within the track smoothing out stumbling loops and menagerie of short collapsing noises squeezed to almost impossible states.
"galaxians" is one of the quieter tracks that manages to create a simple and intricate balance between soft fluid melody and bouquet of crispy noises. first part of "smoke" follows it with intricate complex pulses backed by simple melodic line - a pure exercise in sound micro manipulation. simple melody is further explored in surprisingly quiet "suboxes" and "h298mcf" filled with overlapping atonal motives. more traditional and simpler "mi-quelle" is mysterious and charming retaining its edge. light and playful "whale" concludes the album followed by atonal ambient of "unalaska version 1.02."
this release might be too broken and unexpected for the casual fan of eclectic charm of skam or rhythm addict hooked on silver records releases, but it is quite interesting as a contrast to those mentioned above and definitely a project that has a lot to offer in future.