Behind one of his several pen names, Detroit techno dealer Matthew Dear excels as Audion, pushing distant, machine-sounding atmospherics over skeletal beats on Suckfish. Dear plumbs even darker caverns than those explored on his previous effort, 2004's Backstroke, and the swap-out of vocals for brief, deeply coded snippets of spoken word is merely one indication of Suckfish's understated ambiance. On "Rubber," Dear works otherwise atonal, metallic buzzes into a mini looping score so that they become pieces of a bigger melodious picture. While the beats and sirens of "Kisses" are more suited to the dance floor, the subsequent "Weild" rests on a rumbling, softer pulse and doesn't play out much louder than background fare. In its thoughtful and delicate balance of beats and drones, though, "Weild" exposes the ambient realm that on Suckfish is otherwise a downplayed side effect.

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Dominic Umile