12″ vinyl, Brume Records, 2008
A short, sweet release from Belgian artist Fractional, this EP takes a selection of tracks from the full-length, “Come Mierda,” adds a new number and throws in two remixes (from DJ Hidden and Cdatakill) to boot. Fractional’s style is best characterized as breakcore with a heavy nod toward the unexpected structures and melodic angles of dark IDM. Pandemic cut-up beats and ambient background textures intermingle to form a distillation of drum’n’bass urgency and industrial iciness with a spacey vibe; it appears Brume is broadening its tastes in a positive way.
The originals on the “Come Mierda EP” exhibit the crashing, beat-driven impetus of the release. “Misute” starts things off with a graceful melodic line, soon injected with robot jungle grooves lacing gently plucking synths, a fast-forwarded film of a moth battering against a light bulb. The non-album track, “Xing,” continues on a darker bent, complemented by an epileptic rhythm, full-rounded synths, and phantom harpies howling in the digital background. Unlike the previous two, “Quigan” seems propelled by its beats alone. Abrupt and harsher, the track toys with unpredictability and competently manipulated sounds; the head-nodding breakdown halfway through is infectious.
On the b-side are “En Attendant” and its two remixed versions. The original is dominated by strong, rapid bass hits and a disconnected melody, with solid, danceable syncopations throughout. The DJ Hidden remix offers an extended ambient intro until the beat drops into a sharp techstep number with pronounced snare hits over continued atmospherics. Cdatakill takes a serious downtempo approach with a totally chilled-out and dubbed-down version that shakes the room with deeply thrusting bass pulses refusing to kick up to breakcore speed.
In summation, this EP proves a worthwhile sampler of the Fractional sound, useful for DJs and collectors alike. A call for alternative remixed tracks than just the one would be the only complaint.
— Dutton Hauhart