Boomkat Product Review:
NYC's cult PTP label handles the latest from Tehran duo Temp-Illusion, who unexpectedly use Matt Berry's 'Toast of London' (really) as the inspiration for a set of twitchy, Autechre-inspired, DSP-powered belters.
We have to admit, we never expected to see 'Toast of London' turn up as the source material for a set of splattery, experimental, sci-fi tinged beat music. But Temp-Illusion are hardly a duo that take the obvious route. Making music since 2011, Shahin Entezami and Behrang Najafi caught our ears with the excellent 'Autolected' in 2019, released on Sote's Zabte Sote imprint. Its follow-up 'Pend' was just as gripping, an indictment of weaponized media set to apocalyptic beats. And 'failsafe' deepens the duo's narrative, injecting it with the kind of tongue-in-cheek humor we'd expect from anyone who's been glued to Matt Berry's output for the last few years.
Each track is named after one of the cartoonish characters from 'Toast of London', beginning with a glitchy dedication to 'Steven Toast' himself. Entezami and Najafi's soundsystem-ready take on classic dancefloor IDM is remarkably well engineered, coming across like the precise, damaged electro of EOG or Dave Tipper's Crunch project but given a contemporary, Renick Bell-adjacent lick of paint. The duo deviate a little from the path on 'Clem Fandango', chopping into dusty breaks and reminding us of the point when illbient and breakcore began to mesh in NYC's melting pot, and on 'Ray Bloody Purchase' they cripple warehouse kicks with serrated distortion, evolving into squelchy, abstracted acid before the track's closed.
After a brief, weightless interlude with 'Jane Plough', Temp-Illusion ratchet up the tempo on 'Kikini Bamalam', an aluminum-coated hard dance bruiser that tracks from gabber into twitchy breakcore. Flipping the script in the third act, the track halftempos down to a rap crawl, sounding as anxious and airlocked as anything on 'EP7'. And closer 'Cliff Promise' winds us down with buzzsaw synths and loping kicks that sluggishly corrupt themselves like malfunctioning hard drives.