Best Albums of 2019: Data Rebel ‘Upward Falling’

Upward Falling (Bandcamp)

Intelligent dance music may be horribly named but this percussive form of 90’s ambient techno is still with us and inspiring new generations of e-musicians. UK artist Dan Howe aka Data Rebel is one of them. He mixes the crisp, complex percussive clicks and thuds of early IDM with melancholic synth melodies and subtle backdrops of ethereal, arcing tones. How well an artist handles this kind of juxtaposition of rough and smooth is one of the marks of great IDM. On Upward Falling he handles it exceptionally well, keeping those elements in perfect tension as he weaves haunting, weeping lovely harmonic progressions through the middle of pieces like “Aquaplane”, “Summertime Blues” and “Gegenschein”. One of his lead synth sounds resembles the glowing notes of a Rhodes piano, another is those signature bouncing IDM tones with delay and echo. These are great tunes, immaculately crafted in a very distinctive downtempo style.

Best Albums of 2019 Reviews Index

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