Pregnancy Suits You: the remarkable debut EP from Dialectic in review

by | Electro, Music Reviews

Released through Melbourne-based Milk Thistle Records, electronic artist Dialectic presents us with his debut EP Pregnancy Suits You.

An intriguing hybrid of a myriad of genres, this absorbing record pays something of a homage to jungle and acid techno, whilst tipping its hat to the late-90s Chicago footwork scene. A hauntingly industrial sound, Dialectic (otherwise known as Patrick Sharples) dips his toes into ambient, playing with the semantics and subtext of everyday overhead comments.

The title of the EP comes from the accidental eavesdropping of the composer, who upon hearing the comment “pregnancy suits you” made to an expectant mother, asked himself: does this mean the process doesn’t suit some women, and, if there is such a thing, how would one even go about measuring this?

Opening track MA MA immediately sets the tone for the EP: clean lines and blurry textures result in a kaleidoscopic effect for you, dear listener! In parts, curiously messy grime influences shine through, whilst other sections take a more straightforward approach.

Ambient follow-up Tunnel Vision packs a punch, signalling a coherent storyline which, incidentally, negotiates the course of the record. With experimental percussion (a delightful blend of almost trappy rolling 808 hihats and an unexpected and delicate triangle solo), this track builds on the tone of previous track – a theme which lasts for the duration of the EP, using each work as a stepping stone to the next. In contrast to MA MA, this piece features rich and layered textures rather than smooth outlines. Providing us with an impressive and unexpected drop, it’s a notably well-produced track, and deserves your attention for this fact alone.

The standout track of the EP (Engage/Disengage) is deliciously unsettling, exploring an ethereal techno sound that catches you off guard. It’s less linear than the rest of the record, and with its echoing construction, there are elements of microhouse subculture in here – whether or not that was intentional can only be confirmed or denied by Dialectic himself, but we like it anyway. It’s simple but intelligent, proving that this artist doesn’t need excessive and over-the-top production to create remarkable beats.

A bizarre and unorthodox use of sampling is presented to us in fourth track My Bad Dream Could Eat Yours. It’s chaotic yet maintains a sense of structure, with a fluidity that cements it as a hallmark of sonic experimentation. Again, the production on this work is pretty noteworthy (credits go to Sharples for production, composition and mixing, whilst mastering comes courtesy of Brendan Zacharias at Cirrus Audio).

Chikz features the same inexplicable sampling pattern, and, with a hugely satisfying compressed drum sound, there’s a brilliant sharpness to this track. It’s crisp and snappy, as is its follow-up track and EP closer Vernix, which unashamedly continues on with Dialectic’s seemingly trademark industrial sound.

Changing abruptly from one tone to another, there’s an exploration of the concepts of motherhood and fatherhood coming through in this record. Examining a journey underlined by feminism, it’s an inspired EP which doesn’t shy away from avant-garde experimentation. We’d recommend you keep your eyes peeled for his next release – it’s sure to be something of an event in itself.

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