Published Apr 25, 2018Its title reads like a command. To reconnect is to simply re-establish a bond, and in the digital age, we use the phrase with increasing indifference, often invoking the word upon the basic advent of finding an old classmate on social media and suddenly absorbing their communications into the elusive algorithms that determine our digital feed.
As the title of the newest album from Ian McDonnell's Eomac project, it speaks to an attempt to reorder the hardwired organic paths we've formed in our brains that determine how we think about the rhythms we take for granted in our lives.
A press release locates the inspirations for this latest sonic exploration in seemingly disparate sources like traditional Irish music (the bohdrán frame drum is liberally sampled throughout), Haitian voodoo drumming, Autechre's abstract beat structures, and Source Direct's raw jungle assaults, and while listeners attuned to those worlds might pick up on McDonnell's reference points, it's Reconnect's universality that connects the most.
This is an album about McDonnell's reckoning with the traditions of his ancestors, but on a more global scale, it's about reacquainting contemporary electronic music with the cultural (im)pulses that have been beating for time immemorial. It's all blasted through a murdered-out techno lens — McDonnell aggressively packs this hypnagogic cycle with concussive blasts and doomy, pummelling drama, the overwhelming physicality of it all erecting a booming monument to sound's ability to arrest, to damage, to heal.
By the time you reach album closer "Earth and Sky," you're just pure selfless energy vibrating in tune with the rest of the world around you — its present, its history, its potential — as the outro track takes you out into the horizon with its sudden wash of transcendent calm. A treatise to the infinite gift of rhythm across cultures, traditions, and beliefs, Reconnect resonates on a bio-socio level, unburdening you of your physical limitations, and making you feel lighter, while at once imparting something of intangible value that can't be overstated. (Independent)