Jan 2013 01

IoNiZeR - Outerzone FrequencyIoNiZeR
Category: Trip-Hop / IDM / Ambient
Album: Outerzone Frequency
Stars: 3
Blurb: An assured follow-up, confidently realized in the same apocalyptic vein that defined IoNiZeR’s previous, equally menacing, benchmarks.


On his third release, Belgian IoNiZeR restlessly explores the same dangerous territories that permuted last year’s New Global Disorder. Without the urge for needless experimentation, propelled forward glacially as if its dense and moody tones were ready to halt and swallow the listener, Outerzone Frequency plays out predictably but with the confidence of an artist that knows exactly what his audience craves.

Not unlikely for IoNiZeR, this newest album constitutes a provocatively raw mash-up of distorted textures, distant glitches, and dominating trip-hop rhythms that with reverberating consistency set the direction for the mysterious climate of Outerzone Frequency. Opening “Bound by Gravity” has an underlying beat that establishes the deliberate momentum for the mélange of ambient elements that make up the track’s intense if dispassionate core. As it becomes apparent in due course, IoNiZeR fortifies his position on the far, impenetrable horizon of IDM, but never reaches out beyond it. Effectively, record’s ubiquitous, evocative atmosphere intensifies aimlessly without ever achieving a desirable climax. Hitting the same moody notes, “Reality Refugee” unleashes a plethora of distant sounds that alert the listener to Outerzone Frequency’s ever present menacing current. In fact, the constant whizzes and drones that fill the background and with each following track grow in the listener’s head create a façade so finite and rigid that without ever transcending it, IoNiZeR seems to be in full control of the uncertainty that shapes the album, but also trapped in the constraints of its monolithic tone. Dirty and gritty, it’s a record that provokes and sustains unease, but its bridled dynamism coupled with IoNiZeR’s penchant for repeating motifs and cues leaves it lacking in magnetism, typical for the most intriguing and fascinating of IDM releases. The album is not without moments of undeniable beauty though; “Depopulation” lets the trip-hop traits take lead amid the haunting cries and curious dialogue samples, while “A Different World” confidently recycles and echoes the arrangements of classic horror movie scores to provide a worthwhile quasi-pastiche, and the closing “Humility” dissolves into noisy experimentation, through which hints of bolder, lush instrumentation appear with verve and force.

There is virtually nothing here in terms of stylistic and aural surprises and from start to finish, Outerzone Frequency unfolds with somewhat pleasant predictability. On a nightmare inducing trip through dangerous and treacherous ambient waters, this level of artistic coherence is welcome even if in the long run, the track list of IoNiZeR’s latest release eventually dissolves into a distorted standstill. Fans of dark, nihilistic soundscapes will enjoy being immersed in the constant swirling buzz, but elements of trip-hop are not enough to convince the usually unconvinced, even if they do manage to diversify the experience and differentiate IoNiZeR’s brand of dark IDM. On his next record though, a proverbial more of the same might not be enough and the Belgian advocate of musical dark might need to challenge himself a bit more.
Track list:

  1. Bound by Gravity
  2. Reality Refugee
  3. 4th Dimension
  4. Depopulation
  5. Outerzone
  6. A Different World
  7. The Age of Ignorance
  8. Rise of the Damned
  9. Unfamiliar Dread
  10. The Storm
  11. Humility

IoNiZeR Website http://ionizer1.tumblr.com
IoNiZeR Facebook https://www.facebook.com/IoNiZeR.1
IoNiZeR Twitter https://twitter.com/IoNiZeR_
IoNiZeR SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/ionizer-ion
Dusted Wax Kingdom Website http://dustedwax.org
Dusted Wax Kingdom MySpace http://uk.myspace.com/dustedwax
Dusted Wax Kingdom Facebook https://www.facebook.com/dustedwaxkingdom
Dusted Wax Kingdom Twitter https://twitter.com/dustedwax
Damian Glowinkowski (DamienG)

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