Reso – Tangram
Reso's full-length debut album starts out promisingly, with a muted arpeggiated synth-line running atop a wash of ambient noise. Within a few minutes we're back in familiar brostep territory – snarling bass and stuttering drums accelerate the dubstep tempo towards that of drum and bass, all monochramatic darkness, with very little dynamic contrast. Jungle rhythms come to the fore again on the grungy, fucked-up growler Axion, which has a nice cinematic breakdown. It leads into the beatless synth-wash of Coronium, which is only lacking a decent idea or melodic progression around which to hang its ambient atmospherics.
The standout tracks of the album are Simple Pleasures and Backward Glance; both mesmerising, understated slices of future-garage which showcase Reso's fine ear for melody, and have an intelligent, complex rhythmic framework. Elsewhere, failed experiments like Sega-tastic proto-d&b of Virtua Rhythm fail to impress, leaving Tangram feeling like a half-hearted attempt to escape brostep that too easily rests on its laurels.