CD, Ant Zen, 2009
Olivier Moreau aka Imminent’s, latest release on Ant Zen, ‘Cask Strength’ is a full blown assault of percussive glitches and hard distortions.
It begins with “Seracs”, a construction of rhythmic elements that ramp into a colossal wall of sound with underlying melodies echoing beyond. “Gari” is a barrage of broken beats, symphonic moans and harsh bass hits that whirl around your head like a tornado. “Bock” is the second assault of percussion and glitch in Imminent’s assault that at times seems to fight the constraints of rhythm via bass hits, distortion and stabs. “Garn” is the most coherent song on the release so far with menacing drums, underlying tonals and swaying synth pulls. “Lorsc” is a groove using resonance drums and classic analog synths to achieve a musical meandering complete with whistling. “Teskede” changes the mood by introducing hard kicks at break neck speeds amidst intermittent frequency drops and subtle strings. “Lla” is the equivalent of an electronic drum circle and vaguely reminiscent of Terrorfakt. “Cling” is a reprieve from the prior track with a thick bass ridden ambience interlaced with drum reverses and echo hits. “Rubbs” rejoins the distortion with rabid enthusiasm beating the listener with distorted kicks and soothing them with bittersweet pads. “Droak” keeps pace with “Rubbs” with a broken beat rhythm and fast light synths that attempt to keep tempo. “Ebat” enters with high frequency noise and then bangs out a dub step experiment in consuming distortion and ambiences. “Thal” is two minutes of closure, soft and subtle mixed with slow abrasive percussion and sullen strings.
My personal highlights on this disc would include: “Gari”, “Garn”, “Lla” and “Thal”. As an album, “Cask Strength” works on two levels, subtle enough to be background music and aggressive and intricate enough to hold a listener at full attention – it is a force to be reckoned with in the genre of IDM and glitch.
[Editor’s note: the limited edition box-set scores a bit more on the strength of the fancy packaging, if one can still find it for sale that is…]
— James Church