Futuristic dance music that’s more than the sum of its influences.
Colin Buttimer 2009
Unbalance is the second album from 2562, aka Dutchman Dave Huismans, and an impressive step up from its predecessor, Aerial. After a string of highly promising 12"s that raised high expectations and arguably gave the near-legendary T++ a run for his money, Aerial was ultimately a little disappointing. Despite bustling UK garage rhythms and deep bass, the overall impression was of a perfunctory workout that erred too close to clinical execution. Unbalance addresses these issues with a sense of greater confidence and a real attention to texture.
Where 2562’s debut sounded too skeletal, the first track on the new album is a brief, but subtle passage of distant industrial sounds. Reverberating beats gradually pull into focus before blending seamlessly into Flashback, a compulsive percussion workout replete with whiplash snares and bruising bass. The sound here and throughout is urgent and detailed. Track three, Lost, weaves a spell with hypnotic vocal loops and lowering atmospheres. There's a whole host of technological dread here that would make a great soundtrack for a Philip K. Dick story.
The quality dips a little with Like a Dream which, with its rather mechanical execution, harks back uncomfortably to Aerial. Dinosaur raises the bar again with intricate synth work and funky tweaks. Yes / No is haunted and mesmeric while Who Are You Fooling? is punctured by brutal, pile-driving beats and menaced by sub-bass; but it's the pauses that provide a real sense of space and contrast.
Unbalance sketches views of a cybernetic near future that touches a number of bases, from dubstep and broken beat to the Detroit-tinged breakbeat sci-fi of Jacob's Optical Stairway. Yet it's more than the sum of its influences and Unbalance ultimately gives Huismans' much-feted fellow Dutchman Martyn a run for his money.