The UK collective Outtallectuals is at it again with their genre-challenging behavior. We covered the label's philanthropic activities when it released its Warpball compilation in 2017, but their goodwill extends past donating to charity in Nepal and is, in this instance, laser-focused on uplifting an unknown self-releasing artist from France. Reflecting their taste for the avant-garde and a penchant for global sound, Outtalectuals’ latest EP ventures towards the harsher and darker universe of metal music. Forged by the design of a neuromancer and bearing a prog aesthetic, Imminent by Losion exists at the intersection of chugging guitars and IDM sound design. Occasionally using the label “neurohop” to describe his sonic experiments, Ludovic Delespierre (Losion) is more notable for his guitar playing and use of crash cymbals than this genre tag might imply, though his own term “djently” pretty much sums up the vibe.
Here is an invitation to dive deep into the most sedate of the five songs from Imminent. “Swarm” has enough quiet space in the mix to reveal fingers shaping the guitar strings' notes on the frets, while also possessing enough layers of ambient texture and double bass to make the label's chosen tag of “neuroprog” feel spot on. Glittering glitch noises and soft steel strings rest atop lightly tapped cymbals. Inverted drum samples turn the head, while the metal melody draws forth an epic emotive sensation that builds into a delicious drum breakdown in the final third. An unambiguous crossover track, “Swarm” is dominated yet not overpowered by the taste of metal, and its overtly complex progressive structure pushes it towards the IDM universe that inspired its sound design.
This EP is a big move for Ludovic’s project, which has languished on the internet since Imminent was first self-released on Bandcamp in 2016. Who can say what Ludovic has been up to since then, but the album was taken down some time ago and has since been passed around on metal forums and chatrooms, while nary a part of his artistic presence has been exceedingly active in that time. Such a unique voice has the potential to unite disparate subgenres, so one can only hope that this new label activity is indicative of a continued commitment to the Losion project. With a release on Outtallectuals, he is certain to reach fortunate new ears and inspire more activity around the project.