DED.PIXEL: Form.Follows.Function. CDep Analogue Trash
Its been a long journey of discovery for Manchester based Rhys Hughes; with his debut extended player taking many a year of toil and painstaking effort to create five tracks that he thought worthy of release. There is a danger in this, being that whatever is catapulted upon the world better be damn good; and thankfully, this is.
Opener ‘Beyond the Pale’ grinds its way up slowly from a bed of gravelly ash into a surging plethora of soundtrack driven pads; driven forward with a marshal industrial rhythm section, that leaves space for a wash of harmonies to drip through the cracks.
‘Are.We.Still.Here?’ begs many a question I feel, from Hughes’ personal perspectives and tribulations that he has had to deal with; and the fluttering synth lines provide a fragile disposition that massages the harsh, jagged beat structures, as testimony to the fact that polar opposites in sound often make the best bedfellows.
Up next is a track that is perfectly summed up by its title. ‘Cognitive.Dissonance’ does what it says on the tin and for some won’t make the easiest of listens, due to its more experimental nature (unless that is your bag, which it usually is for me). For those that like their music more plain sailing, this will be an obscure interlude that will only satisfy the broader minded listener, who regularly expose themselves to obscure key changes and timbre.
As an end game the final two tracks really bring Ded.Pixel into its own. ‘Malignant’ provides an exploratory mix of 80’s synth and 90’s alternative sensibilities, which blend into a well-paced and surprisingly uplifting crescendo of positivity; counterbalanced by the dystopian ‘Nil’, providing a desperate hope within its bleak piano steps.
Overall, this is undeniably an impressive debut release, that holds a middle finger up to choosing the path taken by many electronic artists today; and whilst shines the odd torch at IDM and Industrial circles, steers itself down the path trodden by Tangerine Dream and such like, whilst gratefully escaping the confines of the hippy space-age drivel they subjected the world to. In short, Hughes has picked the best of both worlds and produced a solid opener that hopefully will spur him into speedier productivity for future output; and I for one am looking forward to what comes next.