Published Jul 10, 2018Retiring his Egyptrixx moniker and erecting new alias ACT! in its place, the latest entry in David Psutka's (aka Ceramic TL) ever-transforming catalogue is crammed and layered with opportunities for deep listening, and extroverted scenes that will find a place on sparse, darkened dance floors.
On Universalist, Psutka's bounding, coiling sounds collapse into and spring from one another in synaptic jolts and dissolves, wide-ranging gestures overloading your psyche while appealing to an undeniable if unconscious collective attraction to motion and asylum.
Punched up with rhythmically balletic and rapidly sweeping arpeggios, opening piece "Ecstatica / On Patrol" is contemporary classical virtuosity at its most jagged and hungry, briny synths strobing and shining like the blinding lights that define Psutka's hypnagogic live sets. And as the record goes on, an obscured sense of swing starts to underscore the action.
In the consumer chill zone of "No Conflict," an aerosol metronome counts a sizzling trap drift on while arcade laser beams recreationally blast into a black hole and slabs of bass are dropped and scraped aside with assembly line efficiency. "Lava Valley" goes chasing fireworks before a spark ignites the carnival underneath it on fire, and the whole venture becomes a doomed safari searching desperately for a way out of its own melting hellscape.
A mosaic expression of culture at its freakiest and most disjointed, the orbit of this record is undeniable, uniquely synced to the psychic conditions of the world we are varyingly embedded in and disengaged from, and yet so far beyond it all. (Halocline Trance)