The Deviated EP
The vast majority of Binary Park’s 2011 album Worlds Collide didn’t leave much of an impression on me. The new project from Infacted label boss Torben Schmidt (whose Discogs entry speaks for itself, and who should never be confused with this guy) certainly didn’t lack for strong production, but was weighed down by a number of unfocused instrumental tracks and genre forays into electro and post-dubstep breaks that never quite coalesced. With the exception of “My Angel”, an effectively sexy bit of dancefloor grind, the record suffered from the same faults as Torben’s well-known EBM project Lights of Euphoria, namely a surplus of hookless filler songs. Scarcely more than 6 months later, Binary Park have put out the surprisingly surefooted The Deviated EP, a far more succinct and listenable collection than their debut.
Although people will point to its influence in the sound of The Deviated, Schmidt and his collaborators Alfred Gregl and Huw Jones largely avoid the wubwub of commercial dubstep (or “brostep” as genre aficionados would have it). The songs are deep, bass driven affairs that speak to that most recent electronic music trend without cynically trading in it. The skipping kick-snare drum patterns of “She’s Insane” are contrasted with the chorus’ staccato synthwork and Jones’ measured croon (which bears more than a passing resemblance to the one occasionally affected by Pendulum’s Rob Swire) yielding by far the most effective mission statement from the group, an enveloping and full-bodied sound that begs to be heard on a massive club system. The processed and chopped up guitar on “Into the Deep” is equally ear-catching, providing a rhythmic counterpoint to the song’s deliberately placed sub 110-BPM drum programming. But the real strength in the EP lies in the consistency of the melodies at work throughout. On the title track, the EP’s sole nod to straight 4/4 bounce is put way over the top by its commitment to that feel, turning what could have been an alarming change of pace to a centerpiece. Even the less notable “Not in Love” and “Keep on Falling Down” are able to make effective use of the group’s newly realized dark and deliberate MO to hold the listener’s attention.
With their divide in quality and the extremely short time between their releases, it’s tempting to think that Worlds Collide was a kind of scratchpad for The Deviated, the former containing many of the same ideas and influences but lacking the latter’s refinement and potency. The truth may be simply that minus the pressure of filling out an LP’s running length Binary Park are less inclined to step out stylistically and take the time to explore the boundaries of one sound, much to their benefit. Even the remixes by Liquid Divine, Architect and BP themselves that shore up the tail end of the EP fit comfortably, conforming to the posture of the other songs admirably. Hopefully the group takes that sense of cohesion to heart; there’s still a lot of material to be wrung from it.