The point of music, perhaps, is that genres matter little, if any. Before, you could get away with calling music electronic, but now there has to be a specific, neat and tidy label for every sound under the sun. Or does there? As Ital, Daniel Martin-McCormick is unconcerned with the tidiness of labels and more into the dynamics behind his own, creative blend of music. Electronic at its bare roots, loosely compared to house and techno music, some kind of dance and club propulsion and more importantly, an atmospheric-induced, heavily-laden in beats and dark compositions-style-of-music, Ital is nowhere near the neat umbrella many would love to dump it in. This stems from Martin-McCormick’s fantastic craft in incorporating a myriad array of instruments and layers; the music is far too diverse to be pigeonholed and fortunately, Hive Mind is a heady experience that outstandingly coincidentally sleeps in your mind.
The basis around Martin-McCormick’s music provides for an underlying current of atmospherics. Each song, whether it’s an upbeat, tempo-driven clash (“Israel”), or an ambient piece that stretches into genre-blurring tones (“Privacy Settings”), maintains sounds that are both aesthetically essential and fantastic decorations. This attention to detail – focusing on the music and what’s happening within and around it – enables Hive Mind to deliver a truly excellent aural experience. The jittery, opening words of “Doesn’t Matter (If You Love Him)” foreshadows the album’s exceptional tendencies and driven by Martin-McCormick’s brash fusions, the waves of sound Ital creates deliver amazing results.
There’s a strong stream of conscious stemming from the music’s electronic beats and with a heavy pounding intertwined in many of the songs’ (there’s only five total) foundation, the music is always moving forward. Even on the aforementioned opener, the music creeps in with a jagged beat and a Michael Jackson-esque slinky bass line; the propulsion, however, is always moving ahead. The combination of vocal bleeps and patterns, the synthesizers, the keyboards and the thriving beats is a massively fine culmination. You can hear influences from Burial with chilling female samples and an overlay of musical atmospheres, only this time the beats that Martin-McCormick incorporates are pulsing, rousing drums. The album’s short mention of tracks makes no difference on the actual length as it stretches over forty minutes and the entire time, Ital ensures the scope is all-encompassing. The closing song, “Floridian Void,” takes all of Hive Mind’s strengths and arranges them into a menacing piece of dark electronic music that is ethereally spectral. There’s the driving beat and around it a cloak of synths and a menacing melody that rides on the support of stunning layers of sound.
Throughout the album there are currents of strong beats and for the most part, it’s easy to make references around those tendencies. Hive Mind flashes a richer sound and in an overall cloud of sounds, there’s excellent territory being explored all over. Martin-McCormick’s brilliant sense of mood and theme makes for sounds that are both easily impeccable and easy to get lost in. Whichever way you see it and there are plenty of spectrums to impress, Ital’s breed of electronics is of high quality on Hive Mind.