The Dutch master Jeroen Snik is back with his first EP following is album “Entropy” and its live tour! While I absolutely loved his first album “Under The Ice”, “Entropy” took quite a few listens for me to fully get into and appreciate for its true value. But this new EP is pure fire straight outta the box!
Icicle thoroughly smashes it on this release and each track is unique and flawless! It starts with “The Nothing” featuring the lovely voice of Tasha Baxter. This tune has an incredible progression to it, not content on simply delivering a big drop, it features an introduction and build up that are almost more epic and the drop itself. It has a poignant melody that reaches straight for our emotions and raises the hairs on the back of our necks. I find it quite reminiscent of Björk’s classic tunes from the 90’s that just packed so much emotion and power in their vulnerability, and I sincerely think that if Björk had continued making innovative music like in those days, she would most likely be doing stuff like this. Of course, being an Icicle tune, the production is flawless, encompassing a variety of sounds from techno, neurofunk and balancing it with a delicate bed of atmospheric sounds and melodies. If is interesting to note that the production actually serves the song writing and Tasha’s performance very well, rather than simply having the vocal tacked on like an after thought, as if often the case is electronic music these days.
We are then taken to the polar opposite in terms of mood and sound with the title track “Differentia”, a funky minimalist jam very much focused on intense, syncopated rhythms, where every element of the track is part of the beat, very much influenced by the way techno works in that regard. Icicle manages to create a complex, skittering tripped out percussive jam with an odd, but strangely danceable, almost tribal feel to it. A very experimental tune, and such an awesome and unique one!
“Ego” brings us to a mid-point between the rolling techstep feel of “The Nothing” and the minimalist, percussive aesthestics of “Differentia”, with mind-bending basslines that us through many twists and turns. The tune is very much a roller, in the best sense as it has a very dynamic progression that just keeps us wanting more! The vocal snippet that appears throughout is also quite ingenious, bringing about a questioning of our social environment and how all the information we are exposed to, nay bombarded with, continuously shape our thoughts and opinions, using means that are celebrated as the pinnacle of individualism to ironically take it away from us and leave us in the Drone state of consciousness. “There is no you, there is only who I want you to be…” It is another Icicle classic along the lines of “Anxious”, “Minimal Funk” and “I Feel U”.
To wrap things up we have the stormer of a half-time tune “Push Back”, taking cues from the likes of Two Fingers, Noisia and Ivy Lab’s respective half-time, hip-hop-ish incursions and mental glitched-out drums that evoke the aesthetic of classic IDM and Technoid anomalies of the early 2000’s. While it’s mid-range bassline may be a bit grating and screechy, everything else in this tune is pure gold, especially the FSU drum fills that bring back such good memories of how glitchy music could be so fuckin’ cool. It’s about time producers start exploring that area of sound design again, now that seemingly everything imaginable has already been done with crazy modulated basses.
Another must buy release from a pioneer of techy DnB who is still pioneering well into his career. Please Icicle, never stop making such awesome tunage!