Nov 2011 15

iVardensphere - BloodwateriVardensphere
Category: EBM / Industrial
Album: Bloodwater
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: Veering repetition into subtle complexity, this third album from the tribal EBM powerhouse sees the band moving into more dynamic territory.


Hailing from Edmonton, Canada, iVardensphere has in just a few short years become one of the most illustrious names in the modern industrial scene. Presenting a heavily percussive assault of scathing electronica that combines tribal-tinged beats in the vein of Juno Reactor with the power noise aggression of Terrorfakt and mixing in the electrified atmospheres of Iszoloscope with just a hint of melody, Scott Fox and company have made the name of iVardensphere one of the most respected in the industrial underground in only less than four years, releasing their Scatterface debut and the corresponding Remixes Vol. 1 in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Before signing to Metropolis Records for the APOK record, this third album, Bloodwater marked a transition for the band into greater complexity of composition, production, and arrangement, with live members Chris Lacroix and Yann Faussurier (of Iszoloscope and Memmaker) contributing in the studio, as well as featuring a cast of guest artists.

Credit must be given to iVardensphere for the subtle complexity of their compositions. Indeed, tracks like “Ancients,” “Sick,” “The Source of Uncertainty,” and the title track are deceptively simple in their arrangements, coming across to the casual listener as little more than a series of repetitive loops. The nuances of analog synth manipulation and the intricacies of the percussion in tandem with the ambient melodies, sparse as they are, creates a tapestry of sound and energy that is anything but simple and certainly not boring. The same can be said for the slower pieces like “Filterscape,” which really evokes Juno Reactor with additional hand drumming by Idris Fashan really giving the song a mystical and multicultural feel, “Nautilus Pt. 2” with its almost IDM stutters and ethereal atmosphere evoking a somber cult ritual in some low-key horror film, and especially “Grey Walls,” where the percussion is done away with in favor of a sample-laden, nightmarish soundscape that prepares the listener for the onslaught of remixes to follow.

Of the remixes, none really stand out as exemplary, only serving to solidify iVardensphere’s growing reputation as Rotersand transforms “Filterscape” into a light mix of danceable futurepop, Assemblage 23’s remix of the same song being much slower and ambient, though no more noteworthy. Naturally, Komor Kommando’s take on “The Source of Uncertainty” also does little to take things into any discernible new territory as a quintessential piece of noisy electronics and stomping beats, but it makes for a good inclusion in any DJ set. Bloodwater shows iVardensphere’s willingness to expand their sound to incorporate different atmospheric modes and gradually veer repetition into subtly vibrant structures that keep the listener engaged and always ready to dance. For Scott Fox and his cohorts, the future looks very bright.

Track list:

  1. Nautilus Pt. 1
  2. Ancients
  3. Sick
  4. Filterscape
  5. These Machines Keep Me Alive
  6. The Source of Uncertainty
  7. A Sign of Things to Come
  8. Nautilus Pt. 2
  9. Bloodwater
  10. Grey Walls
  11. Filterscape (Dubfire Mix by Rotersand)
  12. The Source of Uncertainty (Komor Kommando Remix)
  13. Filterscape (Assemblage 23 Remix)

iVardensphere Website
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Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3


Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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