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jpls - The Depths
Having been described by Minus as a "brooding, deep-space opera" this follow-up to JPLS's 2007 album, Twilite comes with quite a billing. The Depths opens in a atmospherically-charged, unhurried fashion, with 'Reset' taking its sweet time to kick in with a solid beat. While we're waiting for that to happen you're soaking up a stream of almost industrial sounding electronic spaces, all filled out with synthetic reverb. 'Zero-Point' is comparably subtle, juggling Raster Noton-influenced blips, fizzes and power surges with the more conventional language of understatedly melodic minimal techno. By the time we arrive at 'Displacement' and 'Basis' the tone becomes more immediate, with the former encroaching upon a kind of warehouse-filling, echoing distortion while the latter is a very direct example of JPLS' sleek club-friendly compositions. The album maintains this very stripped yet effective modus operandi for much of its remainder, occasionally slipping into more experimental frameworks (such as the almost Autechre-like beat modulations of 'Collapse) before eventually leading into closing track 'State', which comes with the kind of stark precision you'd find on a Monolake record - it's crisp, penetrating beats eventually giving way to a final couple of minutes worth of wispy, sci-fi ambience.