Escape to Another World with Escape The Loops

Of all the modern day electronic music genres, perhaps none are surrounded by as much ambiguity and individuality as IDM. In fact, ‘Intelligent Dance Music’ is a name which many of the scene’s biggest stalwarts, like Aphex Twin, actively reject. Regardless of the labelling though, the genre itself is a dynamic melting pot of techno, breaks, brain-bubbling sound design and finely tuned production. Coincidentally this sentence also perfectly describes St. Petersburg-based producer Escape the Loops’ recent release ‘Archive pt.3’.

The album features an impressive sound design palette that is truly a feast for the ears. Breaking outside the confines of genre-defined electronic music, Loops is able to conjure up a collection of tracks that really play by their own rules. From the breakneck percussion of the opening track ‘Sleeping Eggplant’ to the soothing melodies of ‘Bob’s Green Mazda’ and the dubby feel of ‘Microtuning16 final 2’ the spectrum of expression and auditory acumen throughout the album warrants multiple listens.

Although technical sound design and production runs deep throughout the album, it never feels high brow or elitist but rather remains fun, playful and accessible throughout. Not only does Escape the Loops turn these original sketches into a fully realized 9 track album but he does so in a way that is uniquely his own.

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Audio / Visual Overload from Richard Devine and Numbercult

In case you missed it, IDM guru and sound design genius Richard Devine just dropped what is arguably one of the deepest modular synth records of all time.

’Sort/Lave’ was composed almost entirely on his custom built Eurorack modular system and features 12 tracks of dizzying percussion, galaxy-deep atmospheres, and utter sound design opulence. It’s an album that really sets the bar for what is possible with modern-day modular systems while still retaining all the rich musicality we’ve come to expect from the Atlanta-born producer.

Adding a visual dimension to the already incredibly detailed track ‘Revsic’, digital artist Craig Ritchie Allan aka Numbercult focused on unpacking the tracks densely packed constituent parts.

”When I set about constructing the video, I wanted the visual elements to engage the dynamics of the music, it felt like there was something elemental about the acoustic elements, so I starting thinking about about travelling through inner space, sub atomic structures forming and splintering apart and electric flashes of colour. I finished off by dropping in some sci-fi inspired interface elements to give the feeling you’re in a craft traversing a microverse.”

Get the full audio/visual immersion by checking out the clip above in full 1080p or by supporting the release over on Bandcamp.

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'Humanity at a crossroads' with Deru's new album- Torn in Two

One part cutting edge digital art project and one part snapshot of a dystopian future, Emmy award winning film composer and music producer - Benjamin Wynn, aka Deru, puts forth some his most poignant work to date with his new album ‘Torn in Two'.’

With a rich musical background, Wynn has taken his years of technical and musical experience and boiled them down into this 9 track concept album, bringing some of humanity’s most pressing challenges to the forefront and dissecting them with laser sharp sound design and texture rich productions.

There are delicate moments, tumultuous times, and walls of sound powerful enough to disassemble your physical self. Ultimately this is a concept album on the human condition, our vulnerability, strength and uncertain future. What would Earth be like without humans at all?

Attempting to tackle such large, philosophical questions in a coherent form of presentable art is a monumental task to say the least, luckily Wynn had some help in bringing these concepts to life. Take our video above for example, ‘Refuge’ is the 2nd track off the album and in many ways the counterweight to the bone-crushing opening track ‘Torn in Two’. With billowing acoustic elements and slow, cinematic builds of white noise, the audio syncs perfectly with the monochrome and desolate visual landscape.

The film is directed and edited by Wynn himself, in collaboration with Bryan Konietzko, the animator and director best known for Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, who provided the concept, art direction and digital sculpting. Longtime collaborator EFFIXX provided visual effects, 3D rendering, and artwork design. Tim Navis supplied the tintype photographic plates used as backdrops and cover art, and Xander Smith served as 3D Sculpting Assistance.

’Torn in Two’ is available via LA imprint Friends of Friends.
Grab it on limited edition translucent splatter double vinyl with gatefold or digitally over on Bandcamp


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LA producer Deru's blistering new track 'Torn in Two'

Benjamin Wynn, aka Deru, is an Emmy Award winning American composer, sound designer and music producer. Born and raised in Chicago, it was Wynn's early experiences with urban music and hip-hop that sparked his initial passion for production and sound design. It was the raw, rough sound of 90s hip hop that formed some of his earliest musical sensibilities, Ben stating "I loved the sonic quality of hip-hop, I loved how gritty it was, I loved the sound of hiss and record noise." Even to this day, many of these rough, organic elements that influenced him so many years ago can still be heard in his productions.

In the pursuit of further honing his sonic sensibilities, Wynn took to the west coast where he studied electronic music at the California Institute of the Arts. He focused on synthesis, signal processing, acoustics, music theory and composition, and earned a Bachelor's degree in music technology. Adding a well-rounded technical skillset to his ever growing passion for music and sound design was a key step in the young producer's music career. 

Over the next decade Wynn put these technical and creative skills to good use, releasing 4 albums under his electronic music 'Deru' alias as well as countless television, film and even ballet scores. Incorporating a unique mix of electronic and acoustic elements Ben states "I love the control over sound that electronic music provides, and I also love the sound of acoustic instruments and human players."

His forthcoming release 'Torn in Two' serves as a perfect example of this unique marriage of electronic and acoustic elements.  The album is a collection of microtonal pieces where the pitches were derived from acoustic instruments, and processed woodwind and brass recordings. Both represented new directions for Wynn, and the results are pieces that are more dynamic and full-spectrum than his previous body of work. 

The track 'Torn in Two' serves as the powerful album opener to the upcoming release. A dizzying array of slithering distortion set within a dissonant dystopia. Bone-crushing builds give way to moments of supreme sensitivity and delicateness. 

'Torn in Two' releases Oct .19th on LA label 'Friends of Friends' 
Pre-order the vinyl over here.

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