CD, Hands Productions, 2011
A deep bass sound, alternating between two notes, rises gradually: the therapy begins! Orphx, Canada’s minimal electronica experts, return to help sooth our pains with their ingenious compositions. A subtle, somehow fragile, blend of simultaneously complex and simple rhythmic elements flows forth; insistent blips and cracks emerge, always appealing, never irritating. Stepping down from the harder, pounding beats of albums such as “Insurgent Flows” (2005), this new work is a welcome return to the more atmospheric tones of earlier times.
Opening track “Compulsion” feels exactly as the name suggests, taking plenty of time to work itself up to a crescendo before “Contamination” provides what might be something of a hit, with suitably unhealthy electronic noises permeating a background of intricate rhythms. The title track appears in two separate parts, both initially rather monotonous and abstract, before developing into shining examples of drama and tension. Speaking of which, “Tensile” begins as tense as most tracks here, before surprisingly morphing into an almost melodic dance floor piece, with the high tensile strength typical of any good Orphx track. Check out the latest fit after 50 reviews.
A more disorienting and dreamlike section is found on “Lost Again”, with its swirling ambiences, and “Future Past” is especially striking, dominated by a sparse pulse and a distinctive triplet beat. This leads well into the heavier sound of “1200 mRH”, rolling relentlessly forward on its densely packed bass beats, the aural therapy on offer reaching a particularly intense peak in its delivery. Finally we have “Dead Zone”, perhaps suggesting that the therapy has been unsuccessful and the patient has sadly deceased! A repetitive beat offset against some disturbing and claustrophobic synth sounds brings us to a bitter demise, as the apparatus powers down and the therapy session comes to a tragic end.
In summation, another fine piece of electronica from Orphx, displaying typically inventive use of synthesizers and sequencers, covering a diverse range of sounds constructed into some very imaginative compositions; just don’t expect anything as blindingly obvious or banal as a ‘tune’.
— Nathan Clemence