Cubicolor - Brainsugar
After much anticipation the Dutch duo have arrived with Brainsugar, their two year in the making debut album. Only in the past 12 months have Cubicolor, comprising of producers Ariaan Olieroock and Peter Kriek, started to grow beyond their European underground following. This is thanks not only to the championing by peers such as Pete Tong, but to the official addition of former Duologue frontman Tim Digby-Bell to their ranks. As a trio, they've been garnering more widespread public praise thanks to EP releases containing ‘Falling’ and ‘Dead End Thrills’, it's Digby-Bell’s influence that have seen the group evolve into today's act.
Brainsugar takes it cues from Cubicolor’s earlier Deep House beginnings but merges with more indie sensibilities as ambient beats provide a framework for intricate guitar work, stark piano, pulsing bass lines, and haunted vocals. Highlights of the album include ‘Mirror Play’ which would not have sounded out of place on Kid A, the oppressive synth lines of ‘Dead End Thrills’, the glitchy title track that swells to a schizophrenic crescendo, and the more traditional sounding House of ‘Falling’ cut with Digby-Bell’s fragile vocals.
Taking the sparse industrial sounds of Bristol dub and mixing it with later era Radiohead, and an ambient House beat it's clear that the trio are following in the vein of musicians and producers who are looking to transcend their genres by pooling together a vast selection of influences. While an intriguing release, they are not the first pioneers to cross these barriers, James Lavelle and UNKLE especially comes to mind. However, they are on the right track and their debut will whet your appetite to see where in the cosmos Cubicolor will go next.