Review: xin – MELTS INTO LOVE (Subtext, Sep 19)

I’ve said many times before that I am completely useless when it comes to identifying EDM subgenres. 2-step, breakbeat, wonky, electroclash, garage, hardcore, gabber, dubstep, future bass… the vast amount of descriptors used to parse an intensely producer-saturated area of music is enough to drive someone insane. So the electronic albums I end up enjoying most (“electronic” in the more conventional sense, that is) are albums that deconstruct, assimilate, or mash together various subgenres to create something that renders classification irrelevant. MELTS INTO LOVE is one of those albums, taking bits and pieces from an endless well of beat-driven electronica and melting them into a singular style that really doesn’t rely much on beat at all. xin’s whirling, vividly colorful soundscapes are stuffed with stuttering synths, coiling cables of distorted bass frequencies, and pseudo-rhythmic samples that contribute to the chaos but that have also been stripped of their typically structural qualities. The effect is something surprisingly meditative, especially on tracks like “Crrrash!,” which I find soothing despite its bouts of brashness, and both “That There Is None” and “Virtually Asocial,” which tread the furthest into ambient territory of any of the others.

MELTS INTO LOVE is a digital-only release, but all proceeds will be donated to Eden Reforestation Projects.