I didn’t realize it’s been three years since Idiotape‘s last full length. The band did release the Tours The Remixes and RE, but haven’t had an original release since 2014. Considering the band’s makeup of Dguru, Zeze, and DR; Idiotape’s music is one of the most original in Korean music. The combination of two producers with six synthesizers accompanied by drums results in a sound that either grabs your attention from the first beat or makes you question what you’re listening to.
Dystopian doesn’t stray from Idiotape’s signature of loops, beats, pulses, and synth all backed with some of the most high energy drumming. What it does showcase is that Idiotape are masters at creating music from nothing. One thing that I noticed with this album is that the band added more recognizable melodies like on “Perfect Moment.” As opposed to previous albums, which were more rhythm and loops, Dystopian adds a lot more recognizable melodic lines that follow along with each verse. But that doesn’t mean the trio give up the pulsing samples that guide each track. I always find it amazing that by creating all these tones, Idiotape is able to compose electronic dance music. I also still find DR’s ability to create drum rhythms among all the other percussion elements amazing because if you listen to the synth tracks separately, it takes a genius to create the drum parts.
A good example of prime Idiotape is “Plan Z.” It includes every essential element of Idiotape into a single song. The three members have a synchronization that I don’t think any other artist could have with this music. Some tracks don’t even feel like they’re following a standard verse, verse, chorus arrangement. Since Idiotape is instrumental, that allows the music to explore and flow wherever it needs to without feeling like it’s wandering. In some cases, some tracks feel more like guides that can easily be expanded in a live setting. After seeing Idiotape live once, I can say that they’re one of the most active performers. They do more than just play music, but live inside each beat.
Dystopian is a welcome addition to Idiotape’s discography. It’s exploring new areas within their audio universe, but still keeping all the essentials. Electronic fans will definitely enjoy the skill that’s shown on the album and everyone else shouldn’t miss this album.