Releasing music under the ST∆ER moniker for several years, Ian Staer has switched gears for the first release under his given name, titled Iterated Processes. Opting for a more down-to-Earth approach that emphasizes more dissonant and industrial textures than the celestial ambient of ST∆ER, the five tracks on this EP lead the listener down a path of sonic discovery where the familiar and melodious sounds of piano provide glimmers of respite from the darker passages of synthesized ambience. After the sparse and hollow drones of the opening “Fundamental Assumptions” give way to a brassy howl like that of a waking beast, “Of a Nonlinear Nature” introduces a steely bass pulse underscored by the chattering of stereo-panned insects struggling to emerge from the confines of the speakers if not for the piano to keep them subdued in the mix as a sustained synth and pad progression bring the track to a fever pitch. Similarly, the brooding whirs of “Semicolon” place the listener in a decrepit and dilapidated sonic habitat, while the organic sounds of piano, acoustic, guitar, and string-like pads provide the slightest indication that one is not alone in this dank environment, while “Towards Equilibrium” closes the EP on a plaintive, even elegiac note with the rhythmic pulses of piano and repetitive strumming phrases amid swells of pads. One might get the sense of these tracks being outtakes from one of Trent Reznor’s film scores as hints of Ghosts, Quake, and other Nine Inch Nails instrumentals will surely come to mind while listening to Iterated Processes; even the artwork bears a similar color palette and tonality to Russell Mills’ artwork for The Downward Spiral and Hesitation Marks, but this is not to say Staer is a carbon copy of Mr. Reznor or that his work doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Astute followers of Staer’s output over the years may even notice similarities to his introductory Separation_Anxiety release from 2014 as these tracks follow similar compositional patterns, albeit with the production savvy of several years of experience. With his eyes and ears pointing toward a more cinematic flair for his de-facto solo material, Ian Staer proves he has the capacity to create effective musical accompaniments.