Ampscent is a two-piece project who creates an intense, shifting, busy and often disorienting brand of electronica/ IDM. This self-titled CD debut album follows on from their 2023 EP Nothing But The World. And this album is one manic, and at points highly dizzying ride- blended beat crafted, layered electro texturing, percussive & noise elements.
The CD comes presented in a highly eye-catching/ scorching digipak, which takes in day-glow green colouring, and difficult-to-read black texts/ graphics. The album takes in six tracks, but really I’d say it’s best taken as one hit- so it all becomes even more overloading & deranged in its attack.
I guess one thinks of things like Autechre’s more manic work, or someone like Otto Von Schirach- when trying to describe what sort of sonic waters we are treading here. Though there is also a woozy & unease ambient underbelly to some of the tracks too. As well as a feeling of glitching futuristic disquiet too.
We move from “Hospitality” which starts off all stuck machine break beat-like, then adds in layers of glitching ambient electronica atmospherics. Before moving onto beaded electro texturing, though to suddenly loud & snaking percussion runs, onto stop/ stop hissing beats with brooding-yet-pared back industrial tone knock. Onto “Boiling Field” where we find a murky blend of tolling unease, metallic scrap ‘n’ slice, and synth tone warp. With stretched ‘n’ glitch vocal tones added into the mix later on to create even more uneasy & drowsy discord.
There’s “Nothing But The World” which opens with snaking ‘n’ banging percussion, with warbling down a tunnel ambience. Before shifting into a blend of weird chanting layers, and slice/hiss/knock percussion. With the album playing out with the spinning electro purr, percussive complexity, and wavering tone atmosphere of “Meta Scenery”.
As an album, Ampscent will most certainly appeal to those who are looking for the manic, unpredictable, and woozy in their Electronica/ IDM. In no way a safe or soothing ride- but if you enjoy being both unbalanced & often bombarded with electronic music- this will appeal.
By Roger Batty at Musique Machine