Alarmist’s 2015 record Popular Demain – with its bustling, jigsaw rhythms, fizzing synths and remarkable, pointillist guitar work – was a gamechanger. Continuing the grand tradition of Irish instrumental brilliance, the Dublin act broke boundaries, skirting the worlds of jazz, post-rock and math and flirting with influence from experimental electronica, to produce a bona-fide modern masterpiece (math-sterpiece©™ if you will…). If the true mark of a genial work of the genre is to break boundaries then the record’s obstinate defiance of any categorisation definitely attests to this.
Four years on, the trio bring their second offering: Sequesterer, out the 19th of July on the right honourable Small Pond Records (UK) and Art As Catharsis (Australia). The first single from the record, ‘Bronntanasaurus’, recalls and builds on Alarmist’s panache for both intelligent, textural play and boisterous, bass-synth hookery; opening with sparse percussion and some splatters of keyboard dripping down a hazy field recording, the track jolts abruptly into a fat synth groove which with each iteration seems to become more obscured, in almost psychedelic fashion, by layers of bleeps and atmospheric sound design. Following a few more twists and turns, the track hits a serene plateau, diaphanous synths melting into gently driving percussion, before drifting quietly out, the trails of murky electronics lingering in the air. It almost sounds like Flying Lotus, having assumed Poisonous Birds’ taste in synths, remixing Jaga Jazzist but at the same time it absolutely, completely doesn’t – it sounds like Alarmist and, honestly, that’s great because Alarmist are bloody wonderful.
‘Sequesterer’ is out on the 19th of July from Small Pond Records and Art As Catharsis. Preorders are available here.