Sunday, July 5, 2020
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Suumhow: Secuund

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Artist: Suumhow
Title: Secuund
Format: CD & Vinyl
Label: n5MD (@)
A lovely listen from first to last track, with different, rhythmic IDM styles and textures with an abundance of warm emotion, exuberance and often a sense of uplifting joy. On Secuund, One cannot help but be reminded of the likes of the Arovane/Phonem collaborations for the angular beats and atmospherics, Autechre for the antiseptic, industrial-grade beats melded with bit-rot decaying, glitch-filled ones, or the whimsical, longing-filled melodies and downtempo beats of Tycho. While these perceived influences evidenced in shared textural palettes exist, Suumhow’s approach to melody stands on its own. “Muuscl” opens the album halting, stuttering, glitch-ridden and discombobulated, but this picks up speed and dexterity mid way through into playful melodic robotic breaks-dance track. “Till'inf” has the sharp, mechanical beats and intricate programming of Phonem and the airy atmospheric melody of Arovane, but with a certain kind of assertiveness. “West Bend” is the Tycho like melodic intermission, dreamy, somewhat whimsical and sweet as is “Bora Bora” with its slightly melancholic melody and comparatively simpler stripped-down beats and kind of wistful melody. “Cabin” among favoured tracks draws near with the momentum of an approaching storm, stuttering IDM breaks kick-in about a minute into the song and counter melodies join in about mid way through with an engaging point, counter point that culminates into a manic, blurpy video game bonus round crescendo. “56” has an early Autechre feel for the industrial grade beats, plucky melodies, and glitchy robotics, set to a nice, subdued, near melancholic melody. “Vapor” is another favoured track where less influence is heard and Suumhow’s own quality surfaces with its slightly faded melody and that catchy, slightly distorted bassline interplay into the crown jewel track. Starts with the glitchy-click of a skipping CD before a lovely, strong, pleasant emotionally rousing melody, assertive beats deliver a strong finish to a strong album. What makes Suumhow stand-out is their craft of melody, while the beats and textures are mere vehicles to instill their own slightly nostalgic mood recalling vestiges of past pop, tantalizingly close to recollection but never realized. Instead, the magic is in how Secuund dwells in the spaces greater than the sum of its parts.

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