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  • Filed under: Review
  • 08/15/2012

Untold Change in a Dynamic Environment Part 3

With two new sides of vinyl, Untold's Change in a Dynamic Environment singles trilogy comes to a close even further out than it began. The arrival of the final piece has left no concrete clues as to what possible conceptual aim may have bound these three releases together, save for the fact that each 12" has progressively moved into stranger and more unexpected territory than most ever thought would come from the Hemlock boss. (That being said, Untold did shed a little bit of light on his artistic intentions in our most recent Chatterbox feature.) Most importantly though, creative motives aside, these voyages into uncharted waters have yet to disappoint, and Part 3 is no different.

For the first 30 seconds of a-side cut "Kane," the listener wouldn't be crazy to think they had put a record from Smaltown Supersound on by accident. The tune opens with a mellow four-on-the-floor beat, which is joined by a loose, lightly distorted, and almost post-punk electric bass. Quickly though, Untold widens out the song, adding dark and distant strings that grow louder in volume as they spread further across the stereo spectrum. "Kane" is the kind of song that builds in movements. Its initial groove piles on club-ready drums as the stringed melodies and drones become more present. Then, just after the three-minute mark, it all boils over into a deeper bassline and swirls of distortion, both of which push the track forward in a slightly sinister fashion. Over the course of two or three minutes, a reprise of the earlier strings slowly begins to take control, and "Kane" enters a dense final phase that gradually deconstructs into more melodious territory.

The b-side "Overdrive" is much more straightforward. Again, pulling out a disco-/post-punk-reminiscent bassline for its initial moments, the song takes more than a minute to introduce its elements before diving headfirst into crunchy, propulsive madness. Where "Kane" distorted strands within its textures, "Overdrive" is one solid block of, well, overdrive. Layer upon layer of machine-made percussion churns while unidentifiable tones squelch and squeal in between, and a heavy, bouncing kick holds it all together. Every so often, the tune spreads out, but only for brief moments when D&B-style drum fills roll into the next bar (albeit at a slower tempo, as Untold operates somewhere in the mid-120-bpm range here).

If one were to put either of these tunes alongside a track from Untold's better-known, 2009-era works, there would be almost nothing recognizable between the two. Nevertheless, Untold's entire Change in the Dynamic Environment series has proven a rewarding change of course, not just for its continually top-notch production value, but also for its experimental boldness. Where he's bound to go next is anyone's guess at this point.

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