by Connor McInerney (@b_ck_tt)
Lush and industrial seem diametric adjectives, but Den-Mate’s Entropii is one of those rare releases that walks the path between two worlds, equally parts cold and dark as it is warm, inviting, and intimate. This is in no small part a consequence of vocalist and multi instrumentalist Jules Hale, who on album opener “Vice” waxes shoegazily on controlling ones vices, reverbing outwards against 808-esque claps and vocal samples.
Its a thunderous opener for an EP, but over the course of Entropii’s subsequent three tracks Hale loses no steam. “Fall” is a standout of the release, in terms of Hale’s ability to provide sweet vocal lines against a swirling, occasionally harsh wall of sound; as a track, in demonstrates her abilities not only as a singer, but as producer in balancing an indiscernible number of sonic textures against a more reserved, sometimes hushed vox.
In Entropii’s balancing act of both light and dark elements, “Sea” sees Den-Mate enable punk-by-way-of-electronic textures dominate, opting for an Alice Glass-esque vocal sampler approach to accentuate darker bass and rhythmic backbone. While one of the more straight-forward productions on the EP, it’s interesting to see as Hale as a songwriter demonstrate a variety in her sound, crafting a track that opts for an IDM approach while utilizing the atmospheric, instrumental elements that make her standout as a performer and artist.
Album closer “Iron” is a raw, scorched Earth anthem that ends what starts as a quiet EP on a brash romp into noise and lofi, wrapping the project concisely. Den-Mate demonstrates a clear vision in terms of crafting a unique, genre-blending sound on Entropii, a performance for which for which four tracks doesn’t do justice - here’s hoping her next effort is much, much longer.