Liar's Rosebush: Circle the Squares
Hive Records

Liar's Rosebush, the nom de plume of Ottawa-based breakcore assassin Matt Rosen, followed its 1999 birth with the None Higher debut (on Immanence) four years later and now re-emerges with Circle the Squares. Rosen's smart enough to broaden his scope beyond one style and skillfully works jungle, IDM, industrial, and even stutter-funk into his meticulously-programmed tracks. The sometime Foley artist stitches voice samples, guitar, keyboards, and pulverized beat programming into a dozen hot-wired tracks that writhe, throb, and snarl in equal measure. A marauding swarm of beat thrash, hammering snares, and distorted bass lines descends in “Beneath the Surface pt 3” while “Circle the Squares” spotlights Rosen's beatsmithing skills with a mad IDM-jungle-dancehall mix. One of the collection's most ear-catching tracks is definitely “Irrational Word Sequence” whose beats ricochet and boomerang in Autechre-visits-Africa style before settling into a warped space jig. While the material does exemplify an obsessive beat focus (“Creatine” and “Series and Parallel” prove he's no slouch in the shredding department), Circle the Squares shows Rosen's also aware that melody and composition are equally critical ingredients.

February 2008