SPLINTrd’s “Staring Out of Windows” is exceptionally dynamic for an album so intrinsically mellow in scope. At its core, this is a very relaxed album, though it never quite reaches ambient territory by maintaining a consistent rhythm and complexity through the entire course of the album. This relaxed, but entirely moody, approach is what makes it so compelling. Around that mellowness, the tracks are all composed with an interesting fusion of electro elements, with moments sounding like post-dubstep glitch on one end, and old school house on the other. The album slowly escalates, building on sounds, adding layers of atmosphere, and about midway through you start hearing tornadoes of sound swirling through the intricate percussion patterns and slabs of atmospheres. It is in this moment that SPLINTrd’s skill really starts to shines. He takes carefully mixed layers and makes your ears focus on each, while keeping it all compositionally in sync. The whole album uses deep ambient drones and washes, but always stops short of becoming background music by keeping you tuned in with carefully evolving musical changes, changes that, at different points, can actually be jarring but never in a way that pulls you out of the atmosphere. This is a cohesive electronic soundscape that is pristine in production and execution.
At one moment when there is a metal clanking with intense ambient sounds building around it, I feel a strong similarity to Aphex Twin’s ambient work from the 1990s. I mean this only in terms of the mood establish, because as I said, this is not ambient music.
SPLINTrd is a musical alias of UK electronic music producer Greg Baker, whose other project is titled Skelta. This album was released on the new Detroit based label titled, appropriately, Label. Label is a collaborative project of Joshua McAllister, who released the album “Aon part 1” here on Bottle Imp Productions. If you’re here reading this, you positively must pay attention to what these guys are doing at Label. I fully expect a continuous stream of cleanly produced electronic albums. They have a strong vision for the type of music they are interested in, and they have impeccable taste.