Bernhard Pucher’s second release for Ai combines a lot of unusual sounds. On “Faith,” whale-like saxophone swirls over staticky beats. “Just Ask” is more downtempo, with samples of a man saying “microphone” and “direct” over melancholy electronics and hip-hop beats. It’s hypnotic. “My Statement” has more of a house feel with slow piano and top-heavy percussion, while “Atmos-Fear” sounds like something off Spectral Sound with a brutal old-school bassline, reverbed bleeps, and a techno beat. There are only a couple of misses. The saxophone and distorted vocals on “To Die and Be” are both pretty cheesy. The chant-like rap on “Victimize” is merely distracting. But on “Obsession,” the distorted voices mesh well with deep, dark techno.
The tracks on this album fit together like pieces of a puzzle. Despite a wide range of tempos and sounds, there is a bigger picture: emotions bubbling to the surface from a club-music background. While it may have been built in anger, it’s a fun listen.