At about 13 minutes in — that is, 13 minutes into its nearly 25-minute running length — the track glitches out like a restaurant CD player caught in a digital groove, the skipping a fast-motion mantra, a bit of pointillism psychedelia. That the track, “Lobe,” needs to achieve near stasis for the glitch to truly overwhelm says much about how gentle and effective it is up to that point, because it is constantly reconsidering its direction, fading out before veering left, the slightest bit of percussive detail suddenly emerging as the cornerstone of the metric approach, the whole notion of a downbeat seemingly up for grabs at all points. Right from the opening, its pneumatic percussives like tiny little steam-release valves, the track teases how much it is white noise disguised as techno, and how much it is techno disguised as white noise. The rhythm emerges slowly, like the head of a particularly anxious tortoise from its shell. At its best moments, and there are many, it is like a pause tape made entirely of static.
Track posted by JoÃ£o Ricardo, of Porto, Portugal, under the Lopa pseudonym at a “name your price” rate at opcabpol.bandcamp.com. More from Ricardo at joaoricardo.org and twitter.com/ocpptvu.