March 21st, 2011 | Album reviews

Elsa Henderson

a.d.l.r. “The Softest Shade of Purple of a Powdery Hue”
(from Foam on the Waves of Space-Time… out now on Non Projects)

Foam on the Waves of Space-Time… is as complex as its title suggests; it’s a gentle exploration of classically-informed ambient electronics, warped beats, drone minimalism, and astral jazz, with hints of early Aphex Twin and Squarepusher seeping in quietly. This is a.d.l.r.’s debut and the third release on Anenon’s budding experimental electronics label Non Projects, and fits naturally alongside the worlds of My Hollow Drum and Brainfeeder as it oscillates between thrilling chaos and sleepy softness. a.d.l.r. starts out with pulses of gorgeous shimmery synth textures and lovely barely-there breaths woven in with “Supreme Sunlight” before gliding through “Tactility of Time,” which sounds like time itself being uncoiled and stretched apart. Most remarkable is “The Softest Shade of Purple of a Powdery Hue,” an asteroid-dented trip through the cosmos accented with rhythmic thuds and echoing pops, as if Teebs rode the drone of Roland Kirk’s “Celestial Bliss.” “Personal Grids” is much more boisterous and aggressive, with haunting processed vocals chiming in. Closer “The Systems” drones and buzzes in waves across a.d.l.r.’s cosmic landscape. Chances are you’ve already missed out on owning Foam on the Waves because only 100 cassettes were made in the first edition, but luckily a second of 100 red tapes is on its way.

—Lainna Fader