Proper full-length outing from Naarm quartet and venerable live show Polito! Though prior associations with Butter Sessions have birthed EP’s and compilation appearances, Collapse Phase gathers the most cohesive body of work from the group to date. Self-described as "a meeting of improvised contemporary dance and live improvised techno music, working together to create entrancing performance experiences", the project translates impressively to the long-player format. Holding no pretence with its title, opening cut ‘Chuggalug’ swirls around the stereo field building upon sustained synth warbles with low-key basslines and breaks propelling the track. As the album progresses from the chug into gridlocked, Mills-ian loops and fast, extra-terrestrial sound design (all swinging 909s + decay), we’re also treated to contrasting downtempo acid cuts and dubwise, day-time festival vibes (‘Fortune Teller’). ‘Nine Lines’ layers various patterns in a classy exercise of dancefloor tension building, with an undoubtedly in-the-moment feeling evidencing Polito’s live show foundations. Across the board the group showcase their mastering of a kind of addition/subtraction push and pull, but the varying influences in sound design provide an extra layer of depth to the whole thing and cement the Polito brand. On both ‘Inside The Sphere’ and ‘The Sphere Is Collapsing’, the dreamier, more reflective edges of 90s IDM are given a nod and these two strike as up there with the best on the album. Head for ‘Mercado Waltz’ for a super interesting fusion of loopy techno and modular dubstep.
Polito is a collaboration between musicians Robert Downie and Finnian Langham, and dancers Arabella Frahn-Starkie and Hillary Goldsmith.
Releases September 22, 2023
Artwork – James Vinciguerra
Mastering – Corey Kikos
Album notes – Fergus Clark