Over the course of their first four albums, Radian perfected a painterly approach to sound construction. What makes the instrumental Austrian trio exceptional is its ability to wrest seemingly endless possibilities by fine-tuning the grain of every sound. On their fifth album On Dark Silent Off, Radian take the tactile dimension of their music even further while also introducing groove and drama basically for the first time.
Since the 2009 release of their fourth-full length, Chimeric, Austrian experimental trio Radian swapped a bandmember (co-founder Stefan Németh was replaced by Martin Siewert) and collaborated with Giant Sand's Howe Gelb for an album released on Radian's own label in 2014. On Dark Silent Off is the group's return to longtime home Thrill Jockey, and while it essentially doesn't differ too much from their previous recordings in terms of how they capture and arrange sounds, there's far more clarity to these compositions than the group's more spaced-out early work. Radian still construct their recordings from edited bits of extended improvisations, with jagged bursts of feedback and incidental noises amplified and incorporated as musical elements.
Radian is the type of band that Steve Albini would probably both love and hate. Straddling the line between the type of angular, harsh post-rock that the aforementioned musician/producer has championed over the years and the slick, beat-driven IDM that he's been quoted as loathing, the Austrian trio have created one of the most sonically diverse albums of their career. Radian's penchant for melodic juxtaposition doesn't just lend itself to their choice of genres, as the trio also mess with pitch, volume and rhythm — often abruptly, and always with a sense of rustic finesse.