IVAN BLACK: The Image Has Cracked (2015)
“The Image Has Cracked is a big wall of drones, tones and glitches leaning over ambient and abstract beats”
1 Drips 15:28 2 Tugging at the Heart Strings 18:00 3 Impossible Object I 10:24 4 Stretching Metals 8:40 5 The Image Has Cracked 7:44 6 Forget About Me 10:02 Ivan Black archive.org
(DDL70:17) (V.F.) (Ambient, drones, noisy soundscapes)
I really enjoyed Ivan Black's last two albums. I had discovered an artist who felt so much at ease with the retro Berlin School style and an EM more directed towards a panoply of electronic rhythms and which surfed on the various poles of the modern EM. This last album is very different to say the least. THE IMAGE HAS CRACKED is a floating, a very atmospherical
album lit by a very social vision with soundscapes fed by hummings, cracklings and a plethora of quirky noises which are carried by ambient, or abstract, patterns of rhythms. It's a very pessimistic musical vision, and clearly in the tone, of the image of our modern society which is denounced as being guided by the corruption of the political systems in place. A glaucous album with a beautiful pallet of tones, of noises and of glitch. But would you be surprised if I told you that it's rather interesting all the same?
Drips plunges us straight out into the musical genre which waits for our ears throughout the 70 minutes of this album. The intro is fed by long drones which float and derive in a sound panorama decorated with parasitic noises. There is quite a whole sound activity behind these lines of hummings, a little as a revolt which stirs up, with a troop of drummed pulsations which spread out its steps lost in a kind of spherical zigzag pattern. Ivan Black brings out the arsenal of tones with a pallet of grayness which roams like a drizzle of white noises, whereas a kind of ambient crescendo livens up this long movement which intensifies its wall of atmospheres over these cracklings which try to breathe a life into this rhythmic revolt which will be more than passive. Tugging at the Heart Strings is a little built on the same model, but longer. More musical also, the wall of drones is more unctuous with layers of ambient voices, with a morphic down-tempo which will shake its last 10 minutes. Impossible Object 1 is a very ambient track with a legion of white noises and of glitches which peck at our ears. It requests patience and a good open mind! Stretching Metals is the liveliest track, the most in rhythm here. The structure is boned with jumps, like a kind of Hip-Hop Glitch, unctuously abrupt and of which the roundness is chewed by a noisy flora. The title-track is the most linear of the album with large banks of noises which float like clouds of radioactive sounds and tones. That's the chant of emptiness! Forget About Me takes back a little the spirit of the first two tracks with an introduction sculpted into floating drones. The knocking resist to the hold of the sonic hoops before turning towards a more morphic down-tempo where they scatter in a calculated disorder.
An adventure, a vision of the power of the decision-makers put in music THE IMAGE HAS CRACKED is the reflection of all the possibilities of those boxes of sounds and beats where the color of tones can really be heard. It's free and you must taste it, to tame it. It's a nice incursion in the spheres of modern EM, but that remains a work which risks to please the curious. To those who love when the music goes out of its comfort zone.
Sylvain Lupari (January 26th, 2016) *****