There are old-school synths and horror-flick howls on Bulkrate‘s Convocation, but don’t let those all too familiar elements of goth-tronica keep you from “Under the Ice Cold Surface” (MP3). The EP’s keeper track dispenses with everything just shy of a steady beat, and even then its slow pummel is more exploratory than rhythmic — it’s heavier than a pulse, but far less certain. And in place of synth and metronome is a steady slur of noises, each one supplanting what precedes it with echoes of claustrophobia and sonic despair. Those intentions are all too common in the danker recessed of electronic music, but Bulkrate delivers a thorough, penetrating aural field of shattered cries, distant sirens, and rough scrapes.
Full set of four tracks at darkwinter.com. More on Netherlands-based Bulkrate (aka Evert de Weerd) at myspace.com/bulkratemusic.