Release Date: Mar 15, 2019
Record label: Planet Mu
Genre(s): Electronic, Techno, Experimental Techno, IDM, Experimental Club
Rian Treanor's debut full-length follows several EPs that introduced the artist's acute, angular brand of deconstructed club music. His primarily improvised tracks strip the sharp rhythms of grime and garage to their skeletal essence, yet keep them hyperkinetic enough to work as club tracks. He has also detoured into more explicitly arty territory; 2018's RAVEDIT included his butcherings of Whigfield's '90s Euro-dance hit "Saturday Night" as well as '80s synth pop staples by Yello and Yazoo.
During his Boiler Room set last year, Rian Treanor played material from his debut album, ATAXIA. The producer makes club-focused computer music that is "intended to make people's bodies move in unpredictable ways." (The album's title also refers to a neurological condition that impairs muscle control.) But from the looks it, Treanor's high BPMs and destabilizing pattern shifts--coupled with a camera crew--left the dance floor mostly stiff. A few dancers tried to tackle his sonic puzzles, but head nods seemed a better fit.
Rian Treanor's musical M.O. might best be summed up by the title of his second EP, Pattern Damage. The young British producer and visual artist uses asymmetrical rhythms and pattern modulation to pry open the sounds of electro, bleep techno, and speed garage, scattering the components into new shapes that are dazzling and danceable. The results, as on the 2018 standout "Position_B1," resemble dance music that has curled back in on itself, forming unsteady sequences that the human brain can just about process.
It shouldn't be any great revelation that rhythmically dense, sonically challenging electronic music made by people capable of lucidly articulating theory - what we talk about when we talk about Rian Treanor and his debut album ATAXIA - can also be fun as all hell. Notwithstanding several decades of synth/computer-based composition backing this up, though, there's been a deeply satisfying run of stuff in this conceptual niche over the last few years: producers who might, given a semi-interested listen, sound dry, priggish and unsuited to the rave. But as surely as you can bug out to Nkisi or Lorenzo Senni or Aïsha Devi, the nine tracks on this album are built for bone-hard club systems and flailing limbs.