Mariel Ito: My Cyborg Depths
Dallas-based Eric Estornel (aka Maetrik) had an EP on Modern Love last year, but this is the first full-length under his Ito pseudonym. It’s electro (in the original sense of the word) with an IDM sensibility. On “Form Function” (the first track—the CD insert is misprinted), ancient synths and drum machines form a bass-heavy grid of beats while a computer voice whispers. “Syndrome” is darker and noisier, with brooding electronics and a distorted narrator opining on space aliens. (“Minds immeasurably superior to ours.”) “Dream Deception” seems synthpop-inspired with its vocoder melody and sweeping bassline. “Torn & Reborn” starts with a brutal synth line leading up to an electronic piano passage.
The second half of the album isn’t as strong as the first. The chorus on “Satisfied Death” is a bit too poppy, while “Remorse Attack” and “Destinos” strike me as somewhat simple. Nonetheless, this is an immense, enjoyable album. Each track is long and loud and each explores a different (danceable) idea. The final track, “Finally” (title also misprinted), is a perfect summation. Old-school electro beats and vocoder singing really evoke the feeling of half-man, half-machine.