If you’ve heard Daniel Martin-McCormick’s name recently, it would probably have been either in association with his disco/punk/echo band Mi Ami, or as Sex Worker on the Not Not Fun label, or finally as Ital on NNF’s sister label 100% Silk, recording quite different sounding house music to this album. Now based in Brooklyn, but raised in Washington DC, Daniel has a history in that city’s hardcore scene, he was in the Dischord records signed Black Eyes, but was also making dance inspired tracks at the same period, but coming from a very different angle from your average guy with a copy of Logic and a working knowledge of dance music’s history.
Daniel’s music is a stranger thing. Working best at high volume, it uses house’s easy going 4/4 structure as a kind of camouflage for more out-there sonic explorations; subverting expectations, seeking out the links between the space and the sound-bending of dub & industrial’s unsettling sonics with the grooves of classic house and the effects and black holes of minimal at it’s weirdest. The album has a sculptured feel; sounds twist in space, feeling almost three dimensional and melodies pitch-shift in an unsettling way; voices dissolve in and out of these frameworks and the whole album has a unique, haunted feel; nothing is ever allowed to settle totally comfortably, everything vibrates.Hive Mind’s titles also hint at such themes as how culture insinuates itself on you and the meaning of pleasure, it’s ironies and forms, drawing in creeping fears of the internet age.
On Dream On Ital takes his experimentation with house and techno forms even further, creating impressionistic deconstructions from the tropes of early house and techno. Sunny chords, laid back drum shuffle and rhythmic vocal loops. Unpicking and threading them with a rich psychodrama of dreamy textures and whooshing chords and uneasy dissonance and roughness.
Ital’s perfectly situated and open enough here to blend together key elements of sound that make his music unique and appealing, the dreamy ambience and drums of house with dub’s sense of smearing and fracturing and an understanding of distortion.