Rolling layers of glitch, echoes of washed out IDM inspired rhythms, followed by thick dubstep sounding drums, and maddeningly intense guitars. These are the sort of sounds that usually proliferate many of the tracks present on this fine release from Seattle, Washington based electronic producer Solid State. A long time veteran in Industrial/Drum & Bass/Dubstep scenes, this Netherlands born, United States located musician's first official album is definitily a beast to be reckoned with. Not an album for the light of heart, this sonic maelstrom presented in the form of 11 tracks, and lasting over an hour in duration, has enough sonic variation to keep any individual with a taste in harder styled dance music entertained for the entire duration.
With so much going on in the album, the diversity often works both for and against itself; however usually coming out the stronger in the end for the whole struggle. Presented with a dark playfulness, the pulsing synthetic sounds, often echoed by mechanical rhythmic sounds, will find themselves haunting the listeners consciousness days after the initial listen. Solid State combines many different sonic elements in his pallet, making it truly difficult to pin down any specific way to simply describe this release. And I wouldn't call that a bad thing either. Yes, the album definitily appeals to those interested in harder dubstep and drum & bass, and you can clearly hear his influences within the sound choices, however the way in which he combines the elements presented, it truly creates a listening experience that sets itself apart from the usual crowd.
The songs rarely verge on to the eccentric, despite their progressive nature, with bass heavy drums and thick distorted warbles keeping even the most impatient entertained. Overall, the pacing of the album definitily helps the listener sit through the entirety of the lengthy tracks. With an often frantic energey present throughout the entire album, the listener is almost always continually kept on their toes. Interestingly enough, providing contrast, and dare I even say balancing out the fast paced energy of the album, are frequent ventures into almost downtempo/dub like territory. Most tracks don't stay in that zone for their whole duration, however these forays into more personal and claustrophobic atmosphere only adds to the intensity of the overall album experience.
Overall, in the end I would consider this album to be exactly that: an experience. One to be listened to from beginning to end. Not many people do that these days, but if one gets an honest chance I would highly suggest listening to this album straight through to end, in the order that the release is presented in. For to listen to this album in it's entirety provides a completely different perspective then an individual listening of tracks. Vital truly is a journey, one that bringing you through a maelstrom of emotions as varied as the sounds used to compose this release.
I did an interview with the main man behind Solid State in Febuary, check it out if you wanna know more about this wild project:
Check out Solid State's Soundcloud at:
And follow him on Facebook at: