Switched On – Conforce: Dawn Chorus (Delsin Records)

reviewed by Ben Hogwood

What’s the story?

Conforce is the work of Dutch producer Boris Bunnik, who comes from the island of Terschelling, near Rotterdam. He has a good deal of previous in electronic music, working under the Versalife and Severnaya pseudonyms. This is his fifth album for the Delsin label.

Previous Conforce albums have included references to AI and machine learning, but retain their personal edge through Bunnik’s more ambient dressing and the packaging, which often includes his own photography.

What’s the music like?

Dawn Chorus moves at two different speeds. The foreground is rich with percussion, with rolling breakbeats that generate plenty of energy. This gives the music much more of a human element, ensuring it doesn’t sound too processed. Behind all the rhythmic activity sit slow moving sets of chords, subtly changing shape like clouds in the sky or mist over a lake.

Throughout there are references to the role of electronics in everyday life, with chattering loops and bleeps. Marooned feels remote in spite of its squelchy bass, while Axis Perpendicular packs more of a bunch with its offbeat breaks. Avoid is roomy and heavily percussive, while iO also has increased activity. Void and Umbra are both excellent tracks, the latter taking on an eerie edge by the end.

Does it all work?

Yes. Without being too ground breaking, Conforce has a style that is immediately identifiable and extremely listenable. With ambience and energy combined his is a style that works on two different levels for Dawn Chorus.

Is it recommended?

Yes. Anyone following the Delsin label will want to get involved, as it maintains their quality-rich approach.

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