About a month ago, Mille Plateaux kicked off a new “ambient/drone” sub-label, Cluster, with this digital EP. Artikler is actually Alexey Devyanin from Russia, who has been relatively prolific the past few years. Here, his music ranges from dense IDM to pure electronic experimentation in the Mika Vainio vein. “w” is the best example of the latter, with machine pulses, bass oscillation, and icy static. “e” is a churning froth of rapid bass pulses and treble chirps. A slow melody and radio interference draw one’s focus from the chatter. “r” is equally glitchy, with just a haunting hint of melody. “t” is a mob of computer alert tones over dark ambient drones.
The closing track, “y,” like the opening one (“q,” of course) is busy and unfocused. Parts of “y” are downright grating, with high-pitched beeps and a disjointed beat. Nonetheless, this release immediately stood out from its peers. Artikler’s musical vision shines through these bizarre sounds. In fact, I wish he had fleshed this EP out to album length, and I wish there were a lossless version.