Crisopa – Biodance
By: Tim Clarke
This debut album from Spanish electronica producer Crisopa immediately gets my attention by commencing in the vein of Tim Hecker‘s majestic Harmony in Ultraviolet. ‘Intro’ is a delicious slice of lulling ambient noise. It’s not especially indicative of the album as a whole – ‘Cosmos Wallclock’, which follows, is more like 1990s IDM from the Warp catalogue, gradually intruded upon by a rowdy post-rock crescendo. Not a bad thing, but not my cup of tea these days. These are the poles Crisopa traverses, with varying degrees of success.
The best passages involve the confounding of expectations or the introduction of unexpected elements. ‘Que Nos Atequen’ begins with a gorgeous organ arpeggio before being subsumed by DJ Shadow -style drums breaks and a gnarly electric riff, building in intensity with some scattershot glitchy breaks before peeling away to reveal the original organ motif. It’s easily the album’s most addictive track – and one I relish returning to. Close behind is ‘White Vacuum’ with its wavering, gaseous synths and vocal smears akin to Boards of Canada.
However, not all of Crisopa’s experiments are successful. I’ve never been a fan of using weird noises as rhythm tracks, so the ping-pong ball being battered around by swishing cymbals in ‘Es Todo Mental’ is really distracting. Another negative aspect of the album is that it’s rounded off with two remixes, which feel removed from the vibe of the album as a whole – the album would have felt like a more complete statement without them.
Crisopa’s obviously a talented dude and this is a promising debut, full of adept left-turns, colour and texture. Looking forward to hearing where he goes next.