DJ to Watch: Sysdemes
September 12, 2019
September 12, 2019
The release of Mr. Bill’s latest LP, Apophenia, on Deadmau5’s mau5trap label feels like a critical moment for the contemporary electronic scene. In a Facebook post introducing the album, Mr. Bill talks about his project as “believing in a half-dead genre from years ago.” Apophenia proves that IDM is certainly alive and well.
This release comes during a year of intense production for Australian producer, Mr. Bill. His collabs have been numerous, including a Deadbeats release with SoDown, a track with Bleep Bloop, a vinyl release with Au5, and live performances with kLL sMTH. Beyond his collaborative work, Mr. Bill also released an original motion picture score for Mom and Dad (2017), a horror film starring Nicolas Cage—all while putting out production tutorials and regularly streaming on Twitch.
With this debut full-length release on mau5trap, Mr. Bill may well be introducing his niche, highly-technical production to a much wider audience. Apophenia is overflowing with complexities. Each of the 13 tracks is a journey, ending somewhere completely different from where the song first started.
“Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Jtrs Vibe” are two of the most unique compositions on the album; they both start with traditional instrumentation and then explode into zany electronic breakdowns. On the calmer side of the album, “Composite 4” pulls back to feature a stunning piano performance from Patrick Leonard. Contrarily, “Composite 12,” with its ground-shaking bass, is the heaviest track on the album.
Overall, Apophenia is a technical achievement that demonstrates the limitless possibilities of IDM. Mr. Bill floods the album with an enormous spectrum of sounds, moving from hazy ambient moments into high-energy frenzies. However, his technical prowess does not distract from the overall feel of the work. In Apophenia, Mr. Bill manages to find the emotional within the technical.
The visual work for this album, done by Funilab, is a perfect demonstration of the dizzying, yet inviting atmosphere of an album as unique as Apophenia.
— mau5trap (@mau5trap) November 27, 2018
For more IDM, check out Mr. Bill’s sunrise set from Astral Lights earlier this year. Like Apophenia suggests, perhaps it’s time for a revival of that “half dead genre” that Mr. Bill has so clearly mastered.