Boomkat Product Review:
Quiet Time Tapes, the label behind releases from Ulla, Debit, Kareem Lotfy, Huerco S. etc return with an album of feather-light autotuned IDM-pop somewhere between Dntel and Organ Tapes.
"Written and compiled long distance from threads of bass music-inspired alt pop and guitar recorded in isolation, Insulary is the duo’s first substantial release since 2018. Granulated microglitches fill out the digital drum arrangements, calling on influences Baths and Loraine James, overlaid with warm piano progressions, melancholic guitar loops, and collaged vocal production.
These self-reckoning, forlorn vocals form a patchwork narrative, hazed like a shapeshifted memory, long reconfigured with each conjuring, coherence inconsistent but still there. Recurring dreams find home among recursive passages, self-referencing lyrically and with samples churned through plugins, recorded on loop until you fall upon the most satisfying aha! moment and lock it to the grid. At certain moments all the pieces combine to reminisce in sentimental shards of Porter Robinson or The Postal Service, while never straying from Bas Relief’s own vernacular.
Visiting the past in person simply by walking the routes you took in a life long past, that reenactment of memory, that attempt to capture that which you can’t – it might even be a future – is a central bolt of Insulary’s lyrical content. It’s sentimental, it longs for some past which might not even have existed, and it’s hopeful too, never capitulating to traditional structures in its embrace of unusual stylistic combinations. Insulary – brim-packed with fragments of drum and bass, uptempo electronica, and emo – is but a preview of Bas Relief’s exciting near future."