Ari I.Q. lands on Woodwork with an adventurous set of techno excursions showing depth and ingenuity. Ari's first contribution to Woodwork came in remix form with his contirbution to Alex Ridley's 'Vermissen', released in early 2019. Ridley operates the Re: Define label based in Winnipeg. which also released two very strong EPs by Ari I.Q. in 2019.
Opening with 'Red Hope 1917', Ari sets things up with a meditative broken beat techno theme that serves as a perfect intro... a fresh, straightforward blend of subtractive synth fx layers, pentatonic pads and leads, and Ari's characteristic skittish hihat grooves.
'The Weight of the World' flows perfectly out of the intro number and launches us into astral washes of noise, driven by some classic 909 techno, reminiscent of the repetitive minimal sounds of mid-90s Detroit.
'Soft Snow' then signals an arrival in some twisted alternate reality. The sparse beats pause frequently, allowing glimpses at odd sonic and rhythmic highlights.
'Get Sketchy' exemplifies a taste for all things clever and absurd. Glitchy broken beats and spooky sci-fi phrases meet head on with tough tech stabs, circling each other in deep washes of reverb.
'Succulent Plants' is a satisfying stomper from the minimalist school of Rob Hood's M-Plant label. Led by tight drums up front, a spiral of metallic synth hits churns through the flow of this track. The syncopation locks in immediately and the energy level is persistent throughout.
Grayscalye (aka Jim Stiff) then treats us to a spacey and melodic version of 'The Weight of the World'. His approach puts emphasis on the cosmic nature of the original, adding creative arrangement twists and driving top layers. Toward the end, the beats shift into a broken style, making the whole thing sound somewhat electro for a moment, before spilling us back into a driving outro punctuated by tasty snare drum work.
This Bandcamp release features a bonus track 'How to Open A New World', a solid onslaught of floor-crushing beats intertwined with minimal synth bass hits. Mid way through, a layer of filtered feedback closes in and squelches boldly for the duration of the track... a loaded transition through a strange and unsettling vibe.