Recommended: Pariah – Rift EP

 Has it really been almost two years since Pariah’s last solo release?  That’s almost as hard to believe as him being only two releases deep.  He popped up on everyone’s radar with “Detroit Falls / Orpheus”, which not only cemented him as a staple in the new breed of British producers, but marked R&S’s massive overhaul as purveyors of some of the freshest underground sounds.  So what has Pariah been doing during this time? Only crafting some of the droneiest, off kilter techno to reach our ears in some time as Karenn with the powerhouse that is Blawan and now hitting us with a new three track EP called “Rift“.  For the most part it seems to be a move deeper into the lo-fi, atmospheric textures explored in his track, “Left Unsaid”, released on R&S’s “IOTDXI” compilation.  We can’t say this a terrible move, with the onslaught of resonance in the last 18 months it’s refreshing to hear something that’s a bit more drawn out and noise-heavy.

Stream: Pariah – Signal Loss [Clip] (R&S Records)

The title track “Rift” is the shining light on the EP.  It showcases just how well he can mold a low-end, turning it from a wobble into a syncopated rumble, which slowly drifts off before storming back in.  Even though that’s the main focus of the track a lot work is put into the textures surrounding it.  Unclassifiable sounds wash over you as he takes you deeper into a shallow world with acoustics that make every kick and distorted hat sound ten times bigger.  This is also the most club friendly of the tracks and no surprise requires a well-tuned sound system to do it justice, as this is meant to be a full body experience.  Keeping in line with the sounds of the first track “Signal Loss” is a sparse yet swung track that slowly lulls you in with it’s simple bassline and one syllable sample.  Every snare hit is so transparent and often jumbled together, but somehow it retains a minimal sound.  Its simplicity is the strongest and most beautiful part of the track; it opens it up, allowing you to place meaning in the space.  Four minutes just isn’t enough and makes this one the most likely to be put repeat.

Among Those Metal Trees” is a fitting closer.  It’s a droney comedown track and easily a 5 AM soundtrack on a Sunday morning after a weekend of partying.  Layer after layer is applied and there’s not a single break in the track, this gives an impression that time has almost slowed, but in reality two-minutes have already passed and you’re just zoning.  There’s definitely some sort of stretched and pitched vocal working in the back of everything and we’re sure this is where his short wave radio samples really come into play; it even sounds like there are birds chirping in the background.  It’s quite stunning and something he’s pulled off well.

Stream: Pariah – Rift [Clip] (R&S Records)

Just as the artwork for the “Rift EP” depicts a mess of pipes that are distorted (maybe the negative of a photograph) and difficult to make out, so is this EP, but as you look closer you can see the intricacies and work that went into the layout of the pipes and the tracks.  In an interview last year he said that he think’s he’s finally found the sound he’s been striving for and we love it.  The EP is chalk full of smooth, soothing textures, but packs just enough punch.  It’s definitely something that requires multiple listens and receives the highly coveted two thumbs up from us.

Pariah’s Rift EP is out June 11th on R&S Records.

Jonathon Alcindor

Writer & Techy. My word is bond, whatup doe? Twitter,

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