Published Oct 10, 2018Released in early 2018, Daniel Avery's excellent Song For Alpha is destined to adorn many a best-of-year list. Arriving shortly after, his Diminuendo EP is less likely to be remembered, offering up some fairly decent extras, but nothing essential for fans already satisfied with his output thus far.
Frankly there are only two items of note on this five-track EP, the others being the title track (already familiar from Song For Alpha), an abbreviated edit of that track (of practical use to DJs perhaps), and a brief atmospheric piece in the time-honoured tradition of creepy children's voices à la Aphex Twin — that is, nothing for non-completionists.
Of the two substantial new tracks, "Hyper Detail" is probably the best, featuring a cavernous syncopated beat alongside a squelchy acid bass line that's undeniably good, especially once the air-raid style synth kicks in. There's little else beyond that however, and the track basically peters out.
"Light of Falling Rain" offers more piecemeal satisfaction: it starts with a crackling synth line that promises some decent electro grooving (which it delivers), but beyond some unimaginative ebbing and flowing of rhythmic elements, it's also scant on new ideas — although the foundational elements themselves are solid. Indeed, both tracks have promise, but they suffer from a lack of satisfying pacing that's absent from Avery's better work; they offer up the goods, but fail to do anything interesting with them.
That said, Avery's work is always of interest generally, and if you've exhausted Song For Alpha (and don't forget 2013's equally great Drone Logic), and are desperate for a couple of second-tier extras, this EP is for you. Everyone else can sleep easy knowing they've already enjoyed his best work. (Mute)