Fractional – Come Mierda

Fractional - Come Mierda

CD, Brume Records, 2008
www.fractional.be

While the music presented on “Come Mierda” is essentially pretty calm stuff, it has anything but a calming effect. A threatening overtone (or possibly undertone, if the vibrating sub-bass on “Quigan” or “Sibi” is anything to go by) shrouds the entire recording in a palpable air of dissatisfaction.
On this album Fractional manages to produce one of the better examples of hybridized genre-bending – a fusion of the harsh erraticism of drum’n’bass (such as on “Sunda”) and short-circuiting IDM glitchiness (typified on “Zhstr”), with sweeping atmospheres providing the catalyst for this synthesis. Clever modulations, such as the hollow LFO synth introduction to “Leta,” showcase the technical versatility of this artist. With a plethora of preprogrammed synthesizer settings and presets cluttering the internet (and the music industry), original sound manipulation automatically makes music memorable.
The most positive comment I have on “Come Mierda” is its dynamic range. On “Misute” (the video for which, included on the CD or viewable on the Fractional MySpace page, is a wonderfully surreal adventure questioning identity and Oriental mythology) a deceptively gentle melody slowly builds into a breakbeat/jungle orgy. This is supplanted by grating, tearing sounds that eventually give way to the original melody once more. On the negative side, I would like to hear more vocal experimentation – the unintelligible vocoded garble on “Zhstr,” while interesting, only hints at additional instrumentation possibilities. Even short samples would add a new dimension to what are already dense, layered arrangements.
“Come Mierda” is, in essence, more like dark IDM than ambient, industrial or drum’n’bass, but will appeal to fans across all these genres for different reasons. Imagine a chimeric creation mingling Squarepusher, Panacea, Ah Cama-Sotz and Haujobb, and you’ll have something approximating Fractional in mind.

[8/10]

— David vander Merwe