For the first eight tracks of Magic Fades and Soul Ipsum’s sprawling 1080p debut Zirconia Reign—from “Autoerotic Cubicle,” past “Spa Finder” to “Juicy Torque”—the 'net-based trio inhabit a plasmic thermosphere of soft synths and soundtracks deleted from Myst sequels. The result is an armhair-tickling sensation of expanse, decay and infinity combined with the feeling that you probably should have refreshed the gravity bong water before partaking. Dude, where’s my space shuttle?
When the kicks finally come in on “XXtraclean,” Zirconia Reign turns a crystalline, clubby corner to an alley filled with geo-nerds and avant-ravers, and it doesn’t get any narrower than the techno groove on “Micro Rave Suite.” Andean pan pipe-wannabe synths smother the track in a sauce made from the pan leavings of Throbbing Gristle. When a rodential voice exclaims, “Oh yeah, ho,” it might be a crack-fiending Rizzo the Rat or potentially a vector to points happier and harder-core.
Though “Micro Rave Suite” is an early favorite track, Zirconia Reign is 18 compartments of sound under a hard halogen light, with the white-gloved hands of Fades and Ipsum shadowing artfully. Dude, where are my shades?