Richard Devine

After recent, overindulgent, and sometimes-uninspired offerings from the experimental ilk, there seemed to be a stagnant air in this genre. Then again, one should never say never, and with Atlanta native Richard Devine's latest offering, the sonic blueprint has once again been revamped, transmitting some of the most jaw-dropping cerebral beats this side of the ocean. While Devine has been guilty of masturbatory indulgences that focus on the complexities rather than the song, he's finally starting to realize the error of his ways. A murky labyrinth of sound that brings to mind the likes of Amon Tobin, Autechre, and even art-industrialists Skinny Puppy, Asect: Dsect is both an evolution of IDM and a dissertation on its future. Hybrids of electro-funk, left-field hip-hop, and eerie ambience bubble through the squall of bleeps, blips, and digital crunch on cuts like "Dansk Rap," "Floccus," and "Itsuko."

Relentless in his pursuit of new sounds and straying ever further from the preset/sample-driven laptop posturing of his colleagues, Devine has virtually created his own pixilated universe. Tones and noise slice like Ginsu, sparring with each other almost effortlessly inside the techno noir, resulting in scenery both ominous and intriguing. Asect: Dsect could easily fit into Blade Runner or any other sci-fi apocalyptic tale, but it's never generic. If only Autechre would take a cue from Devine in songwriting, the group might realize that the protégé is now leaps and bounds ahead of the mentor.

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