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Boy Is Fiction – Deeper Than Static

Boy Is Fiction – Deeper than Static
Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Deeper Than Static is the third album by Australian composer Alex Gillett aka Boy is Fiction. Per always Boy is Fiction delivers IDM which leans toward downtempo ambience and even post rock/dreampop. The Boy is Fiction moniker denotes that this is a Gillett solo proposition. The man also collaborates on other projects. Yet it seems odd to think that this is the first Boy Is Fiction album for well over a decade. Has it been that long? I find him one of the more accessible IDM acts going and his Broadcasts In Colour LP is never usually very far from my player.

There are strong melodic sensibilities here, often piano-led with billowing synths in tow. The album is also a hit rhythmically with the crisp percussion you might expect from an IDM stalwart such as Gillett. Actually it’s his juxtapositioning of these two aspects that really sells this to me. Icy, robotic beats and crunches might seem at odds with nebulous, swirling tunes on paper. On record the contrast works really well. At 40 minutes for ten tracks it’s also a punctual listen like the best, pre-CD era albums of yore.

The title track glistens with celestial beauty and has an immediacy that could see this given serious airplay. Vocals push the effect in a Hammock direction. Standouts include the spacious ‘I told you I’d find you’, which has a hymnal quality to it and ‘Disbelief’, a textbook ambient IDM cut. However some heavyweight, amped up tracks are held back for later. End piece ‘See You On The Flipside’ is the gorgeous supermodel in the nightclub. All eyes are on her but boy does she know it. ‘Kata’ is the mighty epic with the cloistered ‘Silversand’ linking both pieces together.

Personally I’d have liked a bit more bass at times. I’m to be blown around by the wind like this I really need to be tethered to the ground first. I also wasn’t wholly convinced about the album sequence. ‘In Between’ is a good track but didn’t strike me as an album launcher. More of an in-between track, maybe? (groan) These are minor gripes from a seasoned reviewer who admits to being somewhat OCD about track sequencing. Overall, Deeper than Static is a resounding success. You honestly can’t go wrong with Boy Is Fiction. He just gets it. If you’re new to the genre this is a nice jumping off point and if you’re already a fan this is another high quality entrant.

Fans of Drift, Hammock, Lights In Motion, Bitcrush, Lights Out Asia…

Deeper Than Static is out today on the specialist n5MD label. The red vinyl version is a thing of beauty.


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Broadcasts In Colour