Son Raw is becoming two.
The sudden and unexpected closure of Glacial Sound late last year was heartbreaking. The label was a pioneer in instrumental grime’s more experimental side and had launched way before the sound became trendy. Though the catalog was small, every release hit that perfect sweet spot between art music and the raw street sounds that served as primary inspiration. It was enough to send a man into an Aubrey-like sad boy spiral.
As it turns out, listeners had nothing to fear. The shut down was temporary, and the label has rapidly returned as Glacial Industries, now 100% more industrial. I’ll allow the Jay-Z level retirement given the shift in focus: from what I can tell, the newly industrial Glacial complex now deals in grime-inspired experimental music rather than experimental grime. Semantics to some, but a distinction that frees them to drop a release like V1984’s Becoming (N)one.
There’s definitely club influences to the sound design and melody here, but it’s also easy to imagine this EP existing as part of a museum installation or film score–the lines have been blurred past the point where it’s safe to slot this into the experimental box instead of “urban.” The tunes are also very good, full of swelling synths and glassy textures, but polished to a hi-def sheen. If you like the more abstract side of Low End Theory’s experimentations, weirdo Japanese synth pop or club music that doesn’t necessarily belong anywhere near a club, you’ll dig this.