A discarded, leatherbound manuscript, literring ruins, drained of colour. Such is the imagery Chilean Tomás Urquieta has put together as the artwork for his Infinite Machine debut, the “Manuscript” EP.
Such is the imagery evoked by his music – seemingly infinitely personal works that been abandoned, fully cooked but never having suffered the mutative process of external curation; beautifully penned and sewn together but foreign to anything but the author’s gaze; found anew amidst the bleakest of environs, a diamond in the rough. In this, Tomás becomes his own archivist and scholar – his own censor and his own advocate.
This personality split is immediately evident in the tracks themselves – the foundations are those of very timely, of-the-now club music: part Jersey club, part ballroom, part grime, part industrial, metallic, percussive, urban, jittering yet sparse, driven yet airy… you know the spiel by now. With the style’s viral proliferation in the last couple of years, one could almost call this record opportunistic. Yet the overarching themes, moods and sound palette evoke a far less jubilant outlook on the club experience than most of his peers’. Indeed, this is not music for peak-time clubs as much as it is music for packed dungeons and inhabited ruins – and going by Tomás’ recent adoption into Berlin’s Janus collective, it would seem that others agree. As such, parallels to contemporary club deconstructionists such Lotic or Arca become facile, and serve to further contextualize the EP.
With track titles such as “Apathetic”, “Neglect”, “Exiled” and “Mother” appended to (for the most part) furiously energetic and pummeling music, it becomes all the more clear that Mr. Urquieta is trying to work out issues both personal and generational atop an counter-intuitively propulsive framework… and in this counter-intuitiveness one finds both an artful rendering of his aforementioned duality, and plethora of musical masterstrokes.
On the remix tip, no less than three remixes bolster an already generous EP to near-full-length status. Korma tackles “Exiled”, and opts to replace its elegiac tone and maudlin melodies for a balls-to-the-wall percussive assault. She’s Drunk subtly upgrades the tech on “Neglect” - nothing more than a single generation. Finally, W3C transforms “Apathetic” into a decidedly energetic intersection of fourth-wave dubstep and no-wave powernoise.