Back in early 2019 some of those who got their hands on Bjarki’s debut LP Happy Earthday received a pleasant surprise. Along with the main album, people who purchased Happy Earthday’s box set edition were treated to a selection of bonus beats. Now, as the year draws to a close, those additional tracks have been gathered for a standalone release under the title Psychotic_Window. The Icelandic producer informs us that the title of this LP is to be taken literally, a reflection of the fact that these numbers all emerged from a rather bleak time in his life. As such, it’s no surprise to find that Psychotic_Window is a fair bit moodier than what we’ve come to expect from the bbbbbb Records boss.
Whereas many of Bjarki’s previous releases specialise in a brand of zany, almost hysterical futuro-rave, Psychotic_Window takes a darker turn. It’s not all change - the whirlwind beat programming, clattering breaks and speedy time-signatures are all present and correct. However, across the record these rhythms often come cloaked in crackling, murky atmospherics, their once-frenetic rave synths turned sour. The influence of Burial, Pessimist and The Haxan Cloak can be felt here - even, on some of the more agonised cuts, a little mid-period Death Grips. Occasionally Bjarki allows takes like ‘Another Stanky Skyline’ to repose in their melancholia, the beat-frenzies swapped out for mournful takes on classic IDM.
New LP Psychotic_Window shows us another side of Bjarki, one that is more sombre and bitter than what we’ve previously seen. The result is some of his most affecting work to date.