Reviews

upsammy
Zoom

(Dekmantel)

7/10

For the past couple of years, upsammy has quietly carved out a niche for herself as a producer of lurching, faintly psychedelic IDM. Her debut LP Zoom sees the Dutch producer, real name Thessa Torsing, doing little to change up the trend but delving deeper into the sound palette she has already established.

The best place to dip your toes in is with the album’s standout track ‘It Drips’, which turns on repeated samples of Torsing’s voice. It’s an interesting mixture of control and deliberate vagueness, as Torsing both locks a sample of amateur beatboxing into an uncannily perfect part of the drum pattern and mumbles vaguely through a thick layer of effects about something ‘wondrous’. It’s a subtle contrast, but one which makes the track endlessly repeatable. It’s appropriate that this album has come out so close to Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s new record The Mosaic of Transformation – the two albums are similar enough in tone that they would make an interesting back-to-back listen.

They’re also surprisingly close together in theme. Smith’s fascination with the New Age is recognisable in Zoom’s preoccupation with the natural world, from the chunk of ice that appears like liquid water on the album art through to track titles like ‘Subsoil” and ‘Overflowering’. Natural overabundance is an appropriate reference point, given how frequently lush each song is. ‘In A Shade’ rattles along underneath layers of spacey synth work, while ‘Extra Warm’ is both complex and emotionally resonant enough to the point that if you told me it was off Aphex Twin’s Soundcloud dump I wouldn’t be able to tell.

Of course, none of this will blow your head off with astonishment if you’re already familiar with IDM, but not every album needs to do that to be worth your time. If you’re already a genre fan or if you’re just looking to switch things up with a bit of sci-fi quirkiness, do yourself a favour: listen to Zoom.

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