When I interviewed Herve Atsè Corti aka Herva last year, he told me his studio was “like a spaceship now”. By the sounds of his latest album, the Planet Mu released Hyper Flux, this was no exaggeration. Hyper Flux is the result of more than an assortment of synthesisers and sequencers set to auto-pilot. In the accompanying text, Corti discusses his Father’s background as an instrument inventor, and how he used those as well as conventional drums and guitars to piece the album together.
In the simplest terms, Hyper Flux is an album of great depth and ingenuity. My first thought on listening to the lead tracks was how evocative it is of Warp’s hay-day, releasing work by acts like Aphex Twin, Autechre and Boards of Canada. Take the frenzied two-step of LP forerunner, ‘Solar Xub’ for example, or the rough-and-ready reversed fills on ‘Peach’. ‘Rule The Sun’ combines drifting, Boards of Canada style melodies with twinkling off-beat rhythms, while ‘Jitter’ deploys itching hats, deranged melodics and squelching bleeps to psychedelic effect.
There are plenty of artists out there who become fixated on these kind of sounds, and some even get quite close to replicating them. What is usually overlooked in the process however, is the music behind the composition. This is perhaps what makes Corti such a standout; rhythm and composition seem to come effortlessly, it’s more a question of how he chooses to package them.
Yes, it has its Warp reminiscent moments, but there is far more worthy of note here; the breadth of influences Corti has managed to incorporate is actually rather staggering. Opener ‘Esotic Energy’ could make up the opening skit to a Dimlite LP, heady arps and xylophone hits creating an intoxicating backdrop between drags of static, while ‘Lly Spirals’ calls Drexciya to mind with shuffled electro-surges and heavily sedated G funk synth-lines. Then there is ‘Nasty MF’. The track does much what it says on the tin - taking its queues from Workshop style house-abstractions, dirt-caked kick drums thudding between cascading synth-lines and swollen bass hits.
As is noted in the press materials, Hyper Flux can seem a somewhat messy listen at first. If anything it feels as if Corti is beset by too many ideas rather than too few; something beautifully refreshing in a world where much electronic music takes repetition to excess. Appreciating it properly does take time, but then again all the best things do.