Set In Sand: Return
Symbolic Interaction / Abandon Building Recordings

Merry melodies and sing-song themes abound in Set In Sand's aptly titled Return, which apparently was created mostly from samples of a music box. Given their source of origin, it hardly surprises that the album's melodies chime brightly, though some of them do sound as if they're being voiced by a thumb piano (production sleight-of-hand no doubt). Crunchy hip-hop beats and the click and squiggle of electronic sounds rub shoulders in the Denver, Colorado producer's latest foray into kaleidoscopic IDM. Imagine delicate Lullatone melodies and shredded beats mashed into three-minute scenes and you've got a pretty good idea of how Return sounds. While much of the material is buoyant in feel and light-hearted in spirit, there is an occasional ‘serious' moment, and Set In Sand even indulges in some ambient soundscaping during the opening and closing tracks too. “An Allegory of an Example” adopts a slightly more sober tone by unspooling more slowly and focusing on the melancholy side of things, even if beats jitter and shudder here as much as they do elsewhere, while the even slower “Returning to Being” weaves its pretty melodies into a stately march procession. Return might be succinctly described as eleven tracks of head-bobbing beats, tinkling melodies, and playful clank and whirr with all of it served up in an efficient forty-two-minute running time.

December 2010