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While the IDM revival of recent years has offered up a great many new talents, there are perhaps none who have caught the eye more than Noumen. With a sound that both adheres to the genre’s principles and stands apart for its futuristic outlook, the one born Andriy Vezdenko is a rare and talented producer. He proves this again with Obscurium, his second LP and his return to Central Processing Unit after the two records he dropped on the label back in 2017.
Noumen’s brand of IDM is harsher, more alien and more adventurous than many of his peers. In this way, the act that Noumen most closely resembles is probably Autechre. On Obscurium tracks turn themselves inside out several times over, their beats scrunched up and their synth tones washed out. His constant quest for new sounds can occasionally take Vezdenko into breakcore territory as well, with Obscurium’s most tweaking tracks - ‘Fading’, ‘Mist’ - nodding to Venetian Snares.
There are more leisurely moments here as well. While its beats may occasionally overload, ‘Winter Sighs’ largely coasts along on a twinkling groove that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Plaid LP. ‘Arclight’ is a shuffling jam that’s packed with little nuggets of synth while closer ‘Flow Through The Surface’ is a cyberpunk strut at hip-hop tempo.
Obscurium reminds us that there are few currently working in IDM who can match Noumen for invention and skill.