Montrealers Milo Reinhardt & Xavier León, between the two of them, and since their inception as Sibian & Faun, have expertly and effortleslly covered every possible facet, color, and incarnation of future bass music, garnering numerous accolades, earning their place on the impressive Numbers roster, hitting RBMA hard via Xavier's attendance, and generally being a living testament to contemporary genre obsolescence. And the kicker: as both have proven via their solo sideprojects (Framework and Xavier León, respectively), Sibian & Faun is NOT better than the sum of its parts, in the best of ways. With Milo having already showcased that with "It's Killing Me", his Infinite Machine debut EP, it is now Xavier's turn to strut his stuff. And with "I Thought You Knew", he is dressed to impress.
Opener "Entrenched", thanks to its inner variety, is an almost narrative affair, kept going by an unrelenting percussive workout, and underscored by the late-night atmospheric and vocal wistfulness one might expect from their favorite future garage tune.
"Croak", a mutant hybrid of post-juke, junglist proclivities and future R&B lushness, is almost an electronic 160+ BPM sinfonietta, going through three distinct movements in its 4 minutes: an dreamy overture of pizzicato strings, playful helium vox and unrelenting riddim, followed by a menacing, oblique, thumping, hammer-against-anvil segue, and ending in speedily assembled breaks, wobbles, and rave elements that, as a whole, nevertheless resemble neither jungle, IDM, footwork, or, in all honesty, anything anyone has ever heard before.
Liar's take on "Entrenched" recalls the sound previously showcased on his "Undance" EP: a blend of melodic techno, dub and trance and he jokingly likes to call "esotech". In this case, the original's opening and closing vox are recontextualized upon a bed of clackety, wooden 4//4 beats, gauzy dub atmospherics, Euro-something undertones, a "downlifting" climax, and the emotional poignancy one can always expect from a Liar cut.
Framework steps in for the grand finale, his remix of "Entrenched" being a sort of cinematic, bass-heavy death march, marked by a dizzying rhythmic urgency. The warped vox of the original now almost chant "it's hard...", evoking claustrophobic, heartwrenching imagery. The very end seemingly takes a page out of the "Synecdoche, New York" book, for those who know what that means. Apt closure to what is a complete sonic spectacle of an EP.