Deep in the darkness that precludes the first few notes we hear in “Spominiks,” there lies a wild, ambient beast waiting to come out of its long slumber and overwhelm whomever is responsible for waking it. Staggering piano keys begin to swirl around us in this four and half minute introduction to Bitter Lake, the new extended play by Britain’s Bloom’s Taxonomy, but they aren’t the only obscure entity guiding our route into the night-like rhythm. It takes almost two full minutes for us to discover the consistency that will drive home the main groove in “Spominiks,” but in that time, it becomes awfully difficult to turn away from the deluge of rich textures that are starting to fill every inch of sonic space in the air.
“Spominiks” eventually gives way to a much lighter affair in “Burgess Park,” but its swaying neurosis remains intact as we press on in the tracklist. The grooves are a lot bigger in this track than they are in the first song on Bitter Lake, and beside the supple ebb and flow of the title track, they might as well be the size of planets. The title cut in Bitter Lake is the most on the nose this electronica-influenced EP will get, and despite its most buoyant of beats, it too feels like something that was created inside the laboratory-like mind of a hardcore experimentalist. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Bloom’s Taxonomy is changing the game with this record, but he’s certainly affecting the how closely I plan on following the London underground in the next year.
Just past the halfway mark in Bitter Lake is when things begin to take a turn for the extreme. “Love and Grace Machine,” the fourth track on the EP, slides into the void left behind by the title number seamlessly, but the tones it will plow through here are anything but smooth. There’s a wonderful angst to the grinding in this song that immediately swept me off my feet when I was initially sitting down to review the record, and in the time since, it’s become one of the key focal points of why I think Bloom’s Taxonomy should be considered one of the brightest young players in his scene at the moment.
Bitter Lake veers in the direction of a smoky jazz nightclub in “Taurus-Littrow” before leaving us to be ripped apart by the clandestine assault of “Balconies,” my very favorite track on the EP. “Balconies” almost feels like it doesn’t belong here – it’s sleek, chic and lacking the gut-punch grooves of its tracklist brethren, and at the same time, it concludes the record by bringing us almost full-circle to the aesthetic frontier we began with in “Spominiks.” Bloom’s Taxonomy isn’t making music for the bubblegum pop crowd in Bitter Lake, but for those of us who demand quality that’s a cut above in our ambient beats, his is a sound arriving at the perfect moment this spring. I love what I’m hearing in this EP, and something tells me you will too.
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