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  • Filed under: Review
  • 12/05/2013

IVVVO Light Moving

There are two ways that the title of IVVVO's latest EP can be read, and both reflect his aesthetic. Light steals across the surface of these tracks like sunlight glints on a large body of water on an overcast day. If, on the other hand, we choose to read "light" as an adjective, the meaning still fits—these five tracks trip lightly across abandoned rave dancefloors, preoccupied with the past but not overly burdened by it. IVVVO garnered some attention over the summer with Future, an EP for Public Information that paired swollen drum rhythms and the occasional gorgeous, forestal melody. Despite that record's success, fall is a far more apt season for the time-stretched cloudiness of IVVVO's music, which looks back on early-'90s hardcore techno with the same opiated gaze as Mark Leckey's Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore video. That being said, Light Moving settles, at points, for reaffirming what we already know about the Portuguese producer rather than deepening his music's affect. Future's tremendous opening track, "Darkness in My Soul," suggested there's a lot more going on with IVVVO than riding the "death of rave" zeitgeist; Light Moving retains that promise, but doesn't do much more than the earlier EP did to show what his end game is.

This EP requires more patience than its predecessor. Blame it on the chintzy tom sounds that just barely cut through the mix. Part clink and part zap, they are a foil to the gushing churn of his tracks and would have been better used in moderation. Those slightly destabilizing sounds appear on almost every track here, having already playing a major role on Future. Heatsick's music is based around these queasy Casio timbres as well, a kind of shortcut to the uncanny valley of outdated consumer electronics. But IVVVO's music's appeal is not rooted in that aura; its more intrinsically musical qualities set it apart. The EP's title track humps along, a collage of pulsing static, lazy breaks, and an organ stab that hoovers up into a vowel sound. It's all very ghostly and bloodless, elegiac without the transcendent moments of melody that gave Future its balance. All the tracks here lope along with the rhythmic thrust of shoes in a dryer, with only "Night Forest" finding its way out of the thicket of slouching, Actress-like beats by presenting listeners with limber breaks and a flute melody that we can sink our teeth into. Light Moving would be stronger with more moments like this. IVVVO's aesthetic is interesting, but his real strength may lie in more traditional fare.

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