Bit-Phalanx’s veteran acid-jazz and drill & bass Lithuanian has compiled six of his favourite unreleased tracks from 2005 – 2009 for Verbal Dance to demonstrate his harsher, mentalist tendencies. Clark, Squarepusher and Venetian Snares are underlying influcences on an enjoyable first artist release from the net label suggesting exciting times ahead as more names on its roster emerge over the year..
IJO’s “Sound 37” starts the EP with a dash of soft, soothing electronica draped over a glitchy beat. He goes darker with “Fonotec”, a spooky bout of breakcore reminiscent of early Squarepusher. On “Pott Machin” he lets fly with an onslaughter of drill and bass while “Twa Te” adopts a more retro synth mentality akin to AFX’s remit on Chosen Lords. A couple of shorter pieces, the erratic “Pz” and aptly-titled “Jungle” give an indication of IJO’s more energetic side as Verbal Dance serves as his calling card. It’s one of a varied musical mind who has drawn on the influences of key movers and shakers in the electronica scene to put his own stamp on their styles over the last few years. As a snapshot of his past work, you can’t help but be impressed that these all sound fresh enough to be worthy of release now.
The erratic “Pz” and aptly-titled “Jungle” give an indication of IJO’s more energetic side.
As the first artist release for Bit-Phalanx, there was a lot riding on IJO’s offering to help indicate what we might expect and on this evidence there is every reason to get excited about what else will come out of it’s stable. Electronica has been going through a tough time of late with very few new artists really causing a stir — Bit-Phalanx could be the blast of confidence we’ve been waiting for to push the scene forward.