Reality Tunnels starts with “Entangled Particles” that features Emika on vocals, a very deep sounding track that immediately puts the cards on the table for what is about to come next. The switch from the slow trip-hop breaks to the junglist fast-paced rhythm hugged alongside the massive and atmospheric pads alongside Emika’s vocals is done with a real sense of sound manipulation and creation of the atmospheric universe that only a sound storyteller can do properly.
And Pinch has never been a producer to create fast-groove-bangers, the words I’d like to use for just dancefloor bangers. The addition of another layer in the sound story is what puts him and this release aside from the others. For some this could be uniqueness, but I believe its first the ability to transform his ideas and transform his soundscapes into reality at the end, besides the unique signals he strongly radiates throughout the album. Continuing forward with the second track and former Roll Deep member Trim on vocals, he introduces us to a sub bass focused tune alongside brutal mid-tone wobbles and industrial sounds throughout.
The third track “Accelerated Culture” starts with fast four-four kicks, only to introduce some rhythm elements of the dubstep flavors in the percussions. After introducing a very vintage sounding synth, he brutally twists his track to nothing but the most pure and proper dubstep with hi-hats and broken snares and magical high pads appearing throughout, all followed by a very strong and face kicking sub bass. On the second introduction of the vintage synth as I like to call it, the things get a bit more soundful with added distortion and a section that follows that is similar to the one prior, but with subtle changes to the rhythm itself and with a different snare on top.
Passing the listener to “Returnity”, the track beautifully and dynamically plays with the synth element of a wobble, only to twist it in acidic natures followed by eastern sounding like vocals in the background. The pads and short delayed snares on “Making Space” are followed with a very low kicking sub-bass and the director clearly shows his ability to put the listener again into his universe of this album and soundscapes with the beautifully arranged percussions that I could only compare to sweet pringles and spices that you’d add on something that’s near perfect. The pads that are introduced in the beginning itself are very melancholic, at least for me, but around the one-and-half minute mark the synth appearing gives the whole track a shift in the tonality, or better said, the mood with what can be only described as hope for a better tomorrow.
It’s time for a party, and be sure that this one is surreal as fuck. In a good, psychedelic kind of way. In a way that after it, you’d be enlightened from the sound itself, if you allow it to take control. The track “Party” features Killa P, also a former Roll Deep member that has mostly arisen to be known to listeners with The Bug’s “Skeng” track featuring Flowdan. On this track Killa uses his technique of repeating the verse, and I must admit that with the exception of Skeng, it never clicked with me. This is another exception though, as his vocals cut straight through Pinch’s sound universe behind that is absolutely glorious and something you cannot expect to find everyday – just like that. Well, Pinch being a don himself alongside with a very unique sounding MC such as Killa P in this case can create a tune that is completely in harmony of today’s surroundings and feelings of the whole world. The dark FM bass alongside darkly colored voice samples cooked with Pinch’s beat that has a strong presence throughout and changes the tempo or dynamics make this tune a banger of its own kind, something that happened and is left for us, the world to properly enjoy it in the future. A beautiful and dark, eerie but still groovy track that can be considered as the track to describe this whole release.
“Back to Beyond” continues with the journey that the album gives us and flows with a hopeful but sad and realistic ambience. This can be interpreted differently by anyone listening to it, but the melancholy and sorrow alongside the hope of “the beyond” is present on the frequencies that Pinch used to break the rhythm focused tracks so far.
It continues forward however to introduce elements that resemble life and light, sparks that never go dark and a vocal so beautiful it might make you tear up if you hear this in the right moment.
Presented with the vocals of Inezi on the “Change Is a Must” track and accompanied by a dancefloor like rhythm the album continues with its auditory journey and writes stories as it goes with the help of frequencies, melodies or with a simpler and more correct word: music. This track does not have any catchiness nor lyrics to follow or sing-along, but does something much more important, spread the message of this journey and the seriousness of messages such as this one. The sub element and everything that plays around it, including the vocals are orchestrated in a minimalist way but with very refine dynamics of introducing and ending the same.
Although it is present throughout this whole album, on “Non-Terrestrial Forms” you can hear how Pinch introduces his new sound storytelling position and tells us perhaps where he’s headed next. For me this is definitely the trippiest of them all, how the Amen break comes to slap your face calmly surrounded by these massive sounding synths that repeat throughout is a thing in the music making world that very few can do with such skill like this. When I mention skill do not think of technicalities as they can be learnt by anyone, what I mean is the orchestrated way to bring them to the listener, the right timing to introduce and remove the sound. Accompanied by eerie metallic sounding pads and a rhythm that derives from a simple to a completely overhaul that can be described as an IDM playground that massages the brain and ears as you go through the track.
“We don’t know why these things happen” – says Nive Nielsen on the last one. “And I won’t believe you for a while” she continues. It is the world we live in, it is the reality we’re in. We’re all children thought by children, nobody knows nothing. Some think they know everything neglecting to learn every day, first themselves and then the actions of others resulting in conflicts and further developing into violence, wars and just actions that are opposite of harmony and peace in this world. No matter how cruel the world is, there is hope for a better tomorrow. The breakdown and the change of pace and lyrics that continues gives me that feeling. A rock song, a proper rock song that ends this whole album with the distortion of the guitar.