Ital Tek Outland Planet Mu
When Alan Myson – aka Ital Tek – settled down to write a new album informed by a moment of upheaval and social isolation after moving out of the city, he couldn’t have predicted he’d deliver it into a world experiencing a unique and inescapable combination of all of these things. But such is coincidence.
Seventh LP Outland steps, perhaps unsurprisingly, even further from the dancefloor than the largely beatless excursion of 2018’s Bodied. And where the latter retained its soul with choral washes and disembodied vocal fragments, Outland opts for layers upon layers of synthesised loops and turns.
Bladed Terrain pairs sirens, reverb-washed clangs and an undulating bassline to build a considered dose of menace, and Leaving the Grid is similarly cinematic to the point of yearning for some visual accompaniment. When he does eventually draw for percussion, on Deadhead, Myson is expert in extracting hefty, pummelling sounds from his kick drums, all underpinned by a thunderous sub-bass. However, the record repeatedly descends into synth lines that revolve into one another without much distinction.
There’s an enveloping depth to Outland, but too often its embrace is a cold one. In this sense, it’s a masterful, if uninspiring, reflection of solitude: tracks fall into one another, time flattens, then the whole thing rotates again.