Infinite Scale: Ad Infinitum

It takes less than a minute for Infinite Scale (Harmi Palda) to retire any thought that Ad Infinitum might be little more than a tired regurgitation of overly-familiar electronic moves. “Cells” almost explodes with urgency and energy in its tight fusion of rampaging beats and agitated electronics, and the eight tracks that follow make good on the opener's promise. What bolsters the appeal of Infinite Scale's music is its hyper-stimulated thrust and over-caffeinated feel—in short, the tracks don't drag, and the album's forty-seven-minute running time is just about right.

In classic electronica fashion, a lovely string part boosts the dreamily elegant “Slow Down” but Palda wisely ventures beyond the strict template too. Roiling below the upper-surface gleam of “Quibtone Frame” is a bass rumble whose undertow is so strong it could make your local dubstep producer envious, while “Step Above the Surface” works a hip-hop vibe into its head-nodding beat structures. The final track, “Liquid Shock,” likewise features a crawling bass throb and whip-crack snare that's much sharper than the kind one normally associates with the genre.

Having started out with little more than a sampler and Mac, Palda has come a long way since 1997's Ecoshock debut, and not just in the geographical sense (though he did spend six years living in Barcelona and Hamburg in the interim). Ad Infinitum is high-grade electronica of the classic and refined kind. Admittedly it won't likely succeed in bringing new listeners aboard—a shame that such resistance is almost impossible to overturn—but it certainly argues strongly enough on its own terms.

May 2009