Boxcutter - Glyphic
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Not content to slow down at all, Barry Lynn (aka Boxcutter) is back already with Glyphic, the follow-up to last years overlooked Oneric. Like that release, this newest effort inhabits an offshoot of the dubstep genre that has a healthy does of IDM sounds alongside lumbering bass and chopped-up breaks.

With Oneric, I gravitated towards one track in particular ("Sunshine V.I.P."), and I have sort of the same reaction to this follow-up, although the number of tracks that really perk up my ears has grown quite a bit. Unfortunately, it opens with what turns out to be somewhat of an endurance test in the album-titled "Glyphic," a nearly eight-minute piece that cycles through the same refrains and melodies several different times (which barely keeping things interesting with a touch of free-jazz horns). "Windfall" takes the release in a completely different direction, veering between light reggae beats and pace-quickening freakouts, but the true standouts don't arrive until a bit later.

In some ways, "Rusty Break" is like the logical (and devastatingly-smooth) sequel to "Sunshine V.I.P." Both highly melodic and dynamic rhythmically, it blends together lush middle-eastern flute loops, filtered guitar melodies, and killer breakbeats into something that really sounds like it's pushing things forward. Album-closer "Fieldtrip" is nearly as nice, starting out in familiar breaks 'n chimes land before layering in saxophone, synths, and other elements for a truly dense and heady combination.

Along the way, though, are some tracks that fall back into a fairly generic IDM mode. Both "Bloscid" and "Lunal" deflate the overall promise of the release and add a bit of unneeded length onto a release that already runs nearly an hour in length. As a whole, Glyphic feels a bit rushed, although it certainly shows some moments where Lynn has evolved his sound (and quickly). Taking the best cuts from this and adding them to the best cuts from Oneric would have made for one killer release, but hopefully the next output from Boxcutter will come closer to that goal by itself.

rating: 7.2510
Aaron Coleman 2008-01-17 20:16:56