Each track title on this record marks the day the song began. It’s interesting to think about the voids of silence that would have existed on the day of commencement, like trying to imagine empty desert plains without that Dubai skyline sprouting out of them. So much has happened since. The beats extend upward like towers, embellished with several varietals of electronic cymbal and percussive clatter, imitating the silhouettes of trundling dub and euphoric electro-pop. Synthesisers fizz across the air like power lines intersecting the rhythmic vertices, while smogs of ambience – billowing pink gases of shoegaze, polluted clouds of noise – cough across the frame, obscuring some of the hard edges.
All of this makes it so difficult to strip back these soundscapes to a singular point of origin. There’s too much material to peel away, and little notion of a central idea at the base of it all. Like cities, these pieces are built on democratic intersections of harmony and rhythmic tick, with ideas gradually bleeding together as they reach inward from the outer edges, forming bigger and bigger communities as the islands overlap. Even the melodies feel like weather systems more so than emotional states; not the communicated disposition of an individual, but a lingering, intangible sense of overcast gloom or radiant optimism (or occasionally full-blown thunderstorm), painted somewhere in the spaces between blistering guitar jets, nomadically probing bass lines and clusters of synthesiser. It’s a joy to isolate certain details in my field of listening: those soft solar droplets bouncing on the beat on “13_04_16”, the ghoulish choirs swirling across the back roads of “07_07_15”, the 80s bass motif that declares itself so proudly at the start of “21_02_16”. Focusing on these details is like following the path of a solitary commuter as they navigate the bridges and roads and downpours that break_fold has built for them, traversing the surroundings that ascend, chicane and vanish beneath their feet.