Published Nov 09, 2016Radian 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.
On their fifth LP, Radian search for something entirely tangible, as they employ uncommon recording methods — incorporating finger hammers on guitars, chords plugging into amps and random switches, taps and scratches — that give the brief seven-track, 35-minute album a sense of pragmatism and digestible imperfection. As the opener "Pickup Pickout" works off dance-y rhythms and syncopated clatters, Radian move towards something more unpredictable and investigational on the title track and "Codes and Sounds."
As "Recreate Loved Objects" and "Blue Noise, Black Lake" feature strikingly cascading guitar strums and expressively crafted drum brakes, Radian typically never seem to grasp on to those moments too long. With On Dark Silent Off, Radian have created a piece of art that's stubbornly beautiful. (Thrill Jockey)