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Arad: Haon

Lakker’s artificial music by upgrading IDM’s source code and alienating techno’s rhythm structure is surely one of the most exciting things that can be found in our times of electronic music. Over the years, Ian McDonnell and Dara Smith have finessed labels such as Blueprint, Stroboscopic Artefacts and R&S and now they’re laying more emphasis on their solo output. Last year McDonnell released his critically acclaimed debut album as Eomac, and also debuted as EeOo with an EP picked up by Aphex Twin as well. This year starts with the first EP of his partner, Dara Smith as Arad.

Haon, a six-track collection (four on vinyl) on Speedy J’s Electric Deluxe is a conceptionally grandiose affair. While “Basswave” is a lovely piece of normally distributed digital pulse immensely shooting trough the mainframe’s circuits, “NCS” remains demurely in a sugarcoated past of trailblazer electronica with its slow-motion, DJ Stingray – influenced electro style and haunting Warpesque melodies.

Fourty Four is like listening to the latter on 45rpm: by time travelling to the now, everything is more streamlined and faster. A smart balance between the dancefloor and the bedroom, the driving focus between rhythms and melodies often change throughout the chapters. The digital bonuses are also worth checking out. “Grand Job” is another swift work, this time by euphoric 3AM breakbeats and floating synths.

Though by its diversity, Haon feels like a preview of what might come from Arad, it makes it perfectly clear that not just McDonnell has creative input in the duo. Sometimes inevitably recalling Lakker, Smith’s debut solo is a kaleidoscopic collection flashing great projections, which in some cases exceeds its execution, but mostly portrays an artist in his element. One can’t wait to witness when he starts to spend more time unfolding his ideas carefully, one by one.

Haon is out now on Electronic Deluxe, order a digital copy from Boomkat.



A1. Basswave
A2. Fourty Four
B1. Gedup Awa Dat
5. Grand Job (Digital Download)
6. Tapper (Digital Download)

Discover more about Arad and Electric Deluxe on Inverted Audio.