Civil Music unveil one of their biggest releases to date…
To the previously uninitiated, welcome to the world of Reso. For the familiar, welcome to ‘Tangram’.
Since the latter half of the last decade, Alex Melia aka Reso has been blending heightened technological futurism with dancefloor prowess to create a densely cinematic musical universe. ‘Tangram’ is the much anticipated release of Reso’s debut long player, a landmark thirteen track odyssey that reaffirms the place of the ‘album’ within modern electronic music.
An unflinching vision of the future and complete competency in his craft sees Reso construct a brave new narrative in the way that timeless artists like Richard D James, Photek, DJ Shadow and A Guy Called Gerald have done for earlier generations. Aligning an artist’s debut with some of the great, for want of a better phrase, “game-changing” albums of the electronic sphere can be a daunting prospect, but what Reso achieves on ‘Tangram’ redefines what dancefloor focussed electronic music can be
‘Tangram’s’ bold new galaxy opens with the unflinching ‘Exoframe’, and the first of many seamlessly executed transitions. ‘Creature’ goes for the jugular with heads down, screwface attitude; whilst the tech-step drumkit workout of ‘Axion’ ensures beat complexities and rhythmic possibilities are tested to the limit.
Then…a change. The dense, beatless, textural timelessness of ‘Coronium’ is not what might be expected from this producer. Neither is the emotional ‘Simple Pleasures’. Or keytar riffs meeting jungle in ‘Virtua Rhythm’. This is the moment where ‘Tangram’ asserts itself as a true long player; decades of electronic music influence woven into a cohesive whole. Not only as music for soundsystems but also for headphones – musicianship is firmly at this record’s core.
Reaching half way, ‘Interlude’ dissipates into the gut-bucket drum funk of ‘Nempo’ while ‘Backwards Glance’ sees innocent 2-step inflections and woodblock playfulness. The final chapter sees a sequence of tracks that display this producer’s dexterity. The bass mechanics of ‘Half Life’ make for an enthralling 140bpm tech-step workout, whilst the abrasive ‘Ishimura’ (taken from last year’s Civil Music EP of the same name) sets the listener up for the swing of ‘Check 1,2’, a curveball that reveals Reso’s love of dark hip-hop. Closing track ‘Tabris’ is the ultimate sign off, featuring a frankly staggering layered solo at the midway point that spirals into the nearest electronic music can come to Peter Frampton.
Inspired by the Chinese puzzle that ‘Tangram’ is titled after, Reso has succeeded in forming a complete work through effortlessly intricate programming of myriad sounds and stimuli – dubstep, sci-fi, hip hop, Manga, ambient, dnb, Moving Shadow, Rephlex – with dynamic and intelligent structure. With ‘Tangram’, Reso continues to redefine genres and push boundaries with profound musical dexterity.