Pariah came onto everyone’s radar with the critical Dilla-via-DMZ sample chop-fest “Detroit Falls” in 2010, and spent the next few years releasing EPs on R&S before going dark in 2012. The years since his last releases have been a period of reflection for Pariah (née Arthur Cayzer), who did a great deal of soul-searching in an effort to determine what sort of music was an honest reflection of himself - not simply what he thought people wanted to hear. As it turns out, the product of this incubation period isn’t just what Cayzer’s been longing to get off his chest, it’s what the majority of the underground music world is pining for in 2018 (ambient music), so it works out quite nicely for all parties. Opening track “Log Jam” christens this new phase of Pariah’s career somewhat ironically with what sounds like a sampler that’s kicking the bucket after being left out in the rain, recalling the breakneck sampler abuse of mid-career Oneohtrix Point Never. Speaking of rain, there’s a slippery, watery film coating most of these tracks; the aural equivalent of that satisfaction you get from running water over your toothbrush before (AND after) you put the toothpaste on it (you know what I’m talking about!). “Rain Soup” makes great use of a simple arpeggiating square wave, awash in several layers of delay and aqueous pads, and “Linnaea” conjures a certain playful naiveté that you normally only hear in video game soundtracks or Philip Glass. “Seed Bank,” “At The Edge,” and “Drug The Lake” are other high points. Most seasoned “dance music” producers who’d try their hand at music like this would inadvertently default to dark or austere sounds, but Pariah manages to squeeze off an album’s worth of soothing, reassuring mood pieces with atmosphere to spare.
- black vinyl pressing
- music label: Houndstooth 2018
reviewed by sakura incident 08/2018