"Rapid Influx" by Álvaro Domene (Iluso Records, 2023)
A wild and busy foray into a shattered, abstracted world, the listener is freely propelled through IDM, technical death metal guitar, glitching loops and icy computer noise. This is music to listen THRU as much as it is to listen to.
Kingston-based artist Álvaro Domene is one of the most inventive and hyper-productive guitarist-composers in the world. For starters, he has released 19 either solo or collaborative efforts since 2020. I'm not kidding. Look it up. It's staggering. I find the dialogue he initiates between virtuosic guitar playing and various programmed drum machines and algorithms to be his most fascinating vehicle for expression.
With each addition, his methods and sounds have evolved exponentially into ever more nuanced aggressive visions which are realized in the form of sweeping and vast musical landscapes. Every second of every piece on Rapid Influx feels like another massive bomb detonating. The sound of the tracks here (and on other releases) is that of fractured sonic debris whizzing past your ears from every direction. Think Venetian Snares meets Atheist but about 100x more intense and you get somewhat of an idea of the character of Rapid Influx. It's an overwhelming but highly rewarding experience to these ears at least!
I'm giddy every time Álvaro shares something new with the world and enjoy having my head smashed by their brilliance like one of Gallagher's unfortunate watermelons. Furthermore, the label he uses to release items - Iluso Records - has an impressive roster of likeminded incendiary artists that includes Henry Kaiser, Harvey Valdes, Álvaro Perez, Briggan Krauss and Colin Marston to name a few.
If anyone is wondering, my favorite of the seven tracks here is "Shaken Out of Lethargy" which could nearly sum up the experience of encountering any of Álvaro's recent work.