Music Review by Sean Baca
Expect More from a Past Life
One half of Phoenecia and co-founder of Schematic Records, Takeshi Muto (AKA Romulo Del Castillo) leads the Miami-based assault on experimental electronic music. Expect More From A Past Life is a conceptual look at the microscopic worlds that exist in the space between two grains of sand. Fusing elements of electronica with ambient and hip-hop substructures, Muto fills the space to its dimensions with percolating soundbytes, fluttering breaks and dissolving waves of sound without it ever becoming muddy or oversaturated. Track 1, "Phase Inv.," establishes Muto’s cohesive style. Sucked into a landscape filled with tiny mechanisms, the listener microscopically gazes as they coalesce and dissolve, devoid of any recognizable form.
Like an unstable particle placed in a stable environment, the first beats flow with a crisp and steady attack, colliding with atoms and boundaries, amidst the hissing undercurrent of radioactive decay. As the impacts advance, they mutate and the steady state of flux falls out of rhythm. The percussion slowly distorts. Warped beats and sizzling textures change as subtly as the movement of a plant or the shifting of stars. A snare pulse begins, gathering momentum from the collapsed gases of a distant past and grows within the disarray. The sound of deep bass hits and distorted sequences propel spherical matter into orbit until they are crushed under such strain, giving off an effervescence of sound throughout the mix.
Is it the beginning of a cosmos or a shift in ionic bonds? The listener is left to decide, and yet all the while, a sense of singularity is established over a chaotic occurrence. Throughout the record, Muto rewards the faithful with digital macabre and intricately programmed progressions. The result boasts material that is able to withstand an immeasurable number of listenings, something that can be rare to this particular scene.
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