Boomkat Product Review:
n5MD takes a further step away from its IDM heritage, with label owner Mike Cadoo's Bitcrush project taking on the more traditional format of guitar, bass, drums and vocals. The very prospect of that comes of something of a disappointment to this reviewer. First off, there's something entirely admirable about this imprint's reluctance to abandon the kind of Warp influenced electronica upon which it was built, and while other recent n5MD releases have dabbled in 'proper' instruments, Epilogue In Waves feels like an outright abandonment of things past. Inevitably, Bitcrush's new direction will court a certain amount of controversy among followers of the label. Some will see the post-'gaze soundscapes as a submission to flavour-of-the-month market forces while others will welcome them as a necessary evolutionary step, and there are cases to be made for both arguments: while on a piece like 'Pearl' ambient textures build satisfactorily toward a frenzied climax, elsewhere, the likes of 'To Drown' and 'Of Days' suffer from insubstantial writing, excessive effects and superfluous vocals that only serve to distract. Cadoo is probably at his best on 'An Island, A Penninsula' where there's a whirlpool of delayed guitars, and a Mogwai-like bass figure underpinning the track's slow, considered melodic development. Perhaps inevitably there's a noisy rush for crescendo, but it doesn't sound excessively linear or formulaic when it comes about. By no means has Cadoo abandoned electronics altogether: you can still hear the whirring of various digital processes throughout the album, but at its core Epilogue In Waves is a bold stylistic departure, though perhaps not an entirely convincing one. There's still plenty of good work here, but you sense that future releases might yield more consistent, firm-footed results.