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Dissident - Glowworm EP


Back in 2013/2014 Alphacut released the Alpha Cutauri series featuring Felix K, Sub, Koto, Elemental, Paranoid Society and LXC. Fast forward two years and the series recommences with new 12" from Dissident.

I remember being blown away when I first received the audio from the original Alpha Cutauri series from LXC. Truly immersive, winding and meandering music that has remained some of my favourite go-to music since. Eventually picking up the the vinyl 12"s I realized the love and attention to detail that had gone into the work. each track ran into the next, a wholesome and continuous vinyl experience. So as you can imagine I was pretty excited to see the series get a reboot from Russian Drum & Space visionary Dissident.

Like its predecessors, 'Glowworm EP' is content heavy. Spread across five tracks it is almost like a mini album. Taking the lead from the previous Alpha Cutauri releases it is bass heavy, rich and full of body. Expansive in feel while being intimate in its connectivity, this isn't throw away music that only remains in your listening cycle for as long as it is new. This EP belongs to a tier of music that doesn't get old and doesn't necessarily feel recent either.

Dissident opens the EP with 'Flowhunt'. Subtle hints at breaks punctuate an overly deep tour through rising and falling synth steps, sharp clicks, panning percussion and a deep rumbling bass that would be more than at home at the bottom of the deepest sea trench.

The synth work of 'Soteria' launches you forward, pulsating synaptic audio textures surfing over waves of audio. There is a level of sophistication at play in Dissident's work. The use of space is fantastic, applying reverb and delay generously to really open up the stereo field. Creating the detail required for high quality home listening while still holding its own when jacked up on a club sound system. The kind of music that gives thin air and the spaces between things texture.

'Thelema' is a curious mix of coarse tonal murmurs, snappy percussion, teased breakbeats and synth shrieks that feel almost like something out of the prog rock handbook. A track of parts with a defined composition and segmentation. Within all these considerations underlies a defined and prolonged groove, this is intense stuff.

I would love to know what inspired Dissident to write 'Bricolage'. Like all tracks on the EP, you seem to be taken to different spaces, different materials, different contexts. 'Bricolage' has a naive musicality to it. Keys dance over the firm predictable ongoing beat, guiding you though empty rooms, unpainted concrete and un-lived environments.

The EP concludes with 'Thru The Eyes Of Ice'. An absolutely chilling ensemble of hollow metal wind. The title fully articulates the auditory effect of this one. No beats, the rare rise of low end rumble and sporadic bouncing delays pinging like uncoiling springs.

I had high expectations of this EP from the outset, both because I loved the previous EPs in the series, but also because I have been a big fan of Dissident since hearing his work back in 2008 on Hotshore and Subtle Audio. The 'Glowworm EP' surpasses expectation and I believe that I'll being reaching for it indefinitely moving forward. I can't recommend this enough.

Dissident - Glowworm EP is out now on Alpha Cutauri