Published Feb 01, 2017Last year, David Psutka ditched his Egyptrixx moniker to release, under the name Ceramic TL, the excellent Sign of the Cross Every Mile to the Border, a collection of sweeping, atmospheric instrumentals that largely distanced themselves from his typical sleek and stylized laptopisms. On Pure, Beyond Reproach, Psutka returns to more challenging music, as the Toronto musician banks on the hope that fans of his earlier Egyptrixx work will follow him down a darker, danker, more claustrophobic path.
On this 10-track album, Psutka embraces saturated, abrasive and slow-moving repetition that wouldn't sound out of place on labels like Blackest Ever Black or Sacred Bones. But frankly, Pure, Beyond Reproach feels lost and directionless at times. Although there are singularly absorbing moments on tracks like the thick but cascading "We Can Be Concrete," the oddly beautiful "Plastic Pebble [beat]" and the slowly revealed, rhythmic "Anodyne Wants to Ammo," but there are too many ideas here, making Pure feel scattered across the album's scant 40-minute runtime.
It's unclear whether Psutka structured Pure, Beyond Reproach to come off linear or not, but if so, he hasn't made it easy for listeners to follow. (Halocline Trance)