Dr. Optimiser delivers a genre-hopping slice of electronic psychedelica on the highly colorful “Borders”. Ranging from rock to folktronica to dub influences, Dr. Optimiser anchors the entire album in a playful fashion, deftly defying listener expectations. Almost veering into dance at times the whole of the work comes together as suites to a greater symphony. Tempos vary greatly as well, with Dr. Optimiser bringing both fantastic rushes as well as languid tropical rhythms. Instrumentally dense, the sound always appears to be brought to the brink ready to burst at the seams with a very much earned sense of joy.
Early IDM artists like Aphex Twin, thoughtful chillout room originators LFO, all of these appear as key influences over the course of the entire intrepid journey. By letting this simply simmer the melodies reveal themselves over the course of the magnificent trip. Emotionally dense, the songs too go from pure celebration to thoughtful introspection, sometimes within a single track. The physicality of the sound reigns supreme for these are songs that deserve to be listened to with the best possible sound system. Highly polished, the production values feel so lush, the arrangements so dense. Quite easy to get lost in the mix the whole album offers an extreme level of detail, with every flourish adding to the overall elegance of the atmosphere.
Not a moment is wasted on the opener “The Theorist”. Right from the beginning the song taps into a cinematic feel, right down to the neo-classical quality of the strings alongside the glorious fanfare. A great kaleidoscope based around an intriguing pattern results in a house track that brings in a bit of rock, akin to Justice’s debut album. By far the highlight of the album comes from the deep house vibes of “Scratch My Mango”. Within this singular track, Dr. Optimiser touches upon the house revivalist Disclosure in terms of letting the groove take complete and full control. Turning the energy into a more pastoral place is the aptly named “County Lines” which feels so peaceful.
Acid techno lines come into the fray on the aggressive edge of “Damascus”. Like coming in and out of focus, the luxurious “Oxytocin” skitters about akin to a toy box melody melted and reconfigured. Efficient, driving rhythms emerge on the krautrock-inspired “Dust In The Oven” that at times recalls the efforts of early Kraftwerk. Epic in scope “Gepetto” brings the beats as the song folds and unfolds as a form of musical geometry. Neatly ending the album on a reflective note is the powerful “Memories (album Version)”.
On “Borders” Dr. Optimiser crafts a true piece of art.