Courtesy of Planet Mu, London

Ital’s new album “Dream On”

December 18 2012
11:59 AM

It was during a concert in my hometown that I first listened to Ital — solo project of Daniel McCormick, previously the front man of the dancey post-punk band Mi Ami. I was blown away by the disconcerting way the young Washington native mastered the art of layering; McCormick skillfully interweaves dense backbeats to rhythms closer to those of house, techno or drone. The result is a clever and deeply absorbing whole that reminded me of avant-underground artists like Oneohtrix Point Never or James Ferraro. Ital released his second LP, Dream On, on Planet Mu in November, less than nine months after his previous Hive Mind. This album, which sometimes flirts with the bizarre, is richer and more intense than its predecessor. The record’s seven tracks build “soundscapes,” recreating a tense and disconcerting atmosphere. Raw, gross and even unpleasant sounds are piled up and shrewdly brought into affecting, spellbinding harmonies. The aptly-named Dream On propels us into a genre-hopping musical trip, mixing noisy, experimental and disconcerting pieces with easier-to-hear but equally well-structured tracks. The incredible “Deep Cut”—the album’s pinnacle— ends this journey in reprieve from the rest of the album’s tension. Despite its enjoyable moments and its tangible depiction of our age’s sensory strains Dream On is frustratingly intrusive as background music and yet too haywire for boozing. As such, for me, Ital’s music is still something best enjoyed live. (Natalie Esteve)

Stream Dream On for free via Dazed Digital.