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Part of our Albums of the Year 2016
Huerco S. strips back the drums in favour of a fully ambient journey beyond the ultraworld for Proibito. Much like the highly valuable slow-burner 2012 Opal Tapes issue, his second long player dives deep into the hazy early morning hours and digital fuzz of the post-rave generations' spliff in hand penchant towards inner escapism, that also acts as 2016's most perfectly exulted introduction to ambient in 2016 for those of you who haven't yet taken the trip (and also those who have).
Refraining from the fuzzy, subdued kick drum rhythms around which he built most of his work to date – including his 2013 debut Colonial on OPN’s Software and his Opal Tapes EP – may seem like a drastic change for the Kansas-born and New-York-based producer. But the richly textured patterns on Leeds’ second album evoke a mystical atmosphere not dissimilar to the feel of its predecessor. With its volatile compositions, it bears resemblance to OPN ca 2011. Its melodies lurk beneath the surface, sometimes emerging as a bigger picture over multiple loops, exemplified in the micro movements of Fender Rhodes keys on ‘Hear Me Out’, the dub-y, dusty arpeggios of ‘Cubist Camouflage’, and the deep, lullaby-esque ‘Promise of Fertility’. When the seemingly arhythmic structures of ‘Marked For Life’ take on new forms through delay effects, Leeds’ mastery of metamorphosis is in full bloom: a truly enticing departure from the more traditional beat-based compositions.