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Boomkat Product Review:
Plastique dance-adjacent nu-classical electronix for fans of James Ferraro, Lorenzo Senni or Caterina Barbieri. Disorienting, grandiose and brilliant.
Maxwell Sterling took us to a far-off dimension with 2017's underrated "Hollywood Medieval", painting an ahistorical, surrealist Los Angeles landscape using discarded electronic sounds to slither in and out of the cracks in our musical history. "Turn of Phrase" extends that daydream universe, building fresh locales from noisy, heaving processes and familiar morphing future-ancient arpeggios. These tracks sound completely cleaved from time - awkwardly grandiose and complex, but hinged on sounds and elements that have been culturally smeared. It's like a salon-centric take on PC Music's arched-eyebrow maximalist assault, a more wide-angle version of Lorenzo Senni's pointillist trance or a refined revision of James Ferarro's "Far Side Virtual"-era disaster capitalist soundtrax.
There's little cynicism at play here though, and that's what makes "Turn of Phrase" so enjoyable. Each track feels like an invitation to a vividly stylized videogame world or a theme to a short-lived animated TV show. There's a sense of joy and wonder that's hard to fake or re-create, whether it's the slowly dissociating classical drones of 'Exuding Latex' or the microtonal elastic chimes of 'Speaking in the Tongues of Angels', Sterling has created a mood that's both familiar and mysterious. IDM could never.