Illusion of Time

Illusion of Time

Daniel Avery and Alessandro Cortini have different skill sets: The former’s a purveyor of heavy-hitting techno, while the latter specializes in shape-shifting modular-synth etudes (when he’s not playing with Nine Inch Nails). Their full-length debut together sounds more like Berliner Cortini than Londoner Avery: In place of four-to-the-floor rhythms and surging acid lines, there are floating pads, pensive arpeggios, and eerie ambient miniatures. But they also venture into spaces neither has explored before: “At First Sight” and “Enter Exit” are so flush with distortion that they verge on shoegaze, while the even more overdriven “Inside the Ruins” boasts the scorched-earth textures of doom metal. In addition to being formally inventive, Illusion of Time is emotionally exploratory, too, slipping between contrasting moods in a way that accentuates its immersive qualities—and makes its climactic payoff, with the blissed-out shimmer of “Water,” that much sweeter.

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