One of Planet Mu’s most trusted lieutenants, Alan Myson has been developing an intelligent dubstep sound that always put thought into the seek before contemplating the destroy. Slippery as much as he is explosive, Ital Tek’s strong body of work has taken in maximalism and pure electronic, pigeonhole-purging atmospherics, equalising coordinates and mind games with the brandishing of a Brighton-branded machete.
When ‘Hollowed’ goes hard, it’s arguably the most wound-up a Tek album has sounded. An irresistible force of live railed machinery operated by overlords on overtime, a choir of death on ‘Redeemer’ begins reading last rites only two tracks in, showing the best power comes from when BPMs are lower than a boa’s ovaries. The killing spree of the headbanger ‘Cobra’, that marches to military drum rolls and the shredding ‘Reflection Through Destruction’, put up a resistance of barb wired walls of sound that have piranha-occupied moats surrounding them.
Consistently recoiling in a pincer movement, the album enjoys the intense preparation for a good clean kill under a full moon, as well as embracing a fear factor where head rules heart, and vice versa. Oddly the mix of gleaming chrome and buzzsaw builds that interject holds the theory of an EDM breakdown, cued to an impossibly sized crowd - also making you realise Tek’s methodical nature upon repeated listens. ‘Murmur’ and ‘Jenova’ come in Tek’s long-held widescreen spec in an orchestral trance-style, acting as all things to all people; cliffhanger, emotional flashback, a space where no-one can hear you scream until the next round of ammo…What’s for certain is that all are very powerful, room-filling, stimulating, and long-term, full of potential as a soundtrack of sci-fi stealth.
Adhering to Ice Cube’s thought of it being a good day - in spite/because of not having to load up the burners - ‘Hollowed’ will give you hope, then gut you. Nothing but a victory all round.
Words: Matt Oliver
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