To get into the mind of Ø [Phase] if even for just a brief moment, is an exalted reward. Ashley Burchett’s second album for the blazing Belgian label Token Records is a well earned break from reality and one that I have waited patiently to discern since 2013’s vivid Frames of Reference.
A new sensibility and progression in his taste is promptly felt as Alone In Time? begins it’s voyage with “Spacialize.” An abstract, deep, sleeper that cycles in waves of pressure and pleasantries from the blinking melodies and panning effects. Around the 4 minute mark sees the inclusion of some huge broken 808 kicks that take the trip to a new extreme following the subtle hypnotic build.
“Orbitron” blends a demolishing beat with some spiky synths to perfection, whilst “Increment” has a tight frenetic feel of urgency. A touch of key-lead, stripped back jackin’ comes in from “Blind Eye” that mixes it up a little, as soon after “Nep-tune” goes down a slightly sinister path with some fantastic melody work.
Track six by this point has no drop in quality at all and goes on a throbbing broken beat once again in the irregular title track “Alone In Time?” A nervousness is portrayed from the delayed clock like notes and ethereal atmosphere. The volatile replenishment of the muted kick after the mesmerising break is absolutely lethal.
Next is “The Maze” that has a supersonic sound and crushed effect lingering in some textures. Huge, radical synths soon appear followed by some complementing chords that lead to an almost complete shutdown and reboot midway as it switches up once again.
“Remote” then appears as an oddball, experimental slice of 80’s style electro to add yet another well executed bit of variety to the LP. Scatty, panning sub bursts introduce “Mo_del,” which could be classed as somewhat of an interlude by this point, but highly engrossing with a wonky and outer space style.
Another floor worker takes shape with “R-Mash.” A monstrous and darker ride, more akin to his DJ tracks for those who like it raw and to the point.
“Astryx” rounds off the full eleven tracks, which has an encore-esque feel, reminiscent of another one of my personal inspirations Stephan Bodzin. Finishing this journey off in utter style, it brings you back down to earth by concentrating on pacifying melodies.
Magnificent from beginning to end, this is the most satisfying album I have heard in a long time and most definitely raised the bar of musical landscape possibilities.
- Reviewed by Jack! Who? for deathtechno.com