Boomkat Product Review:
In the taut, starkly pointillist derangements of Aqal - a word of Somali origin, referring to a temporary domed structure - South London’s Dale Cornish continues to wriggle in the perceptive void between “a/rhythm, space, silence and pulse”. In farther pursuit of the conceptual themes previously explored on Glacial , Xeric  and Ulex , he's arguably realised his most robust and compelling album to be published by the excellent Entr’acte label.
A sort of lucidly clinical, critical study on impulse control and minimalism within contemporary electronic music, Aqal finds Cornish getting right inside the physical mechanics of his sound to provide a meta-level insight on themes of tension-release, or anticipation and proprioception. Using a combination of singular, sculpted drum hits, bleeps and plasmic tones, each kerned with cannily placed lacunæ and diffused throughout the stereo field with a heightened spatial sensitivity, Cornish effectively focusses on the fissures and spaces between dub, electro-acoustic and computer musics, honing in on the interplay of subtext and negative space and encouraging listeners to inhabit that peculiar noumenal gooch.
In this severed space, Cornish plays with preconceptions of music as sound art or sound for its own sake by smartly short circuiting academic practice with an avant pop-wise playfulness, and likewise curbing his dancefloor instincts with a starkly counterintuitive approach. Sometimes he can come across like a novice endearingly testing out his software for the first time, while at others he clearly possesses a methodical riguor and deliberateness that imbues the relative simplicity of his chosen sounds with a succinctly cryptic, enigmatic meaning. It can all be heard as a way of recognising or acknowledging cultural conditioning in order to by-pass or free himself, and by turns his listeners, from its subliminal restraints; possibly suggesting our own consciousness as a construct of environmental factors and elemental metaphysics.
Realistically/unfortunately the album was “too dynamic” to be cut to vinyl, but your (deferred) gratification will still be delivered via this CD edition.