Photographers: Tommy N. Lance; Andres "Argy" Atkinson.
Fink, the trio of Fin Greenall, Tim Thornton, and Guy Whittaker, always subvert audience expectations. In creating a follow-up to a hit record, many artists issue remix collections as touring filler; they milk every last drop from a winning full-length. One might be forgiven for having that initial impression when observing the label copy on Horizontalism, the follow-up to 2014's widely celebrated, laid-back Hard Believer. This set is a collection of dubs and remixes based on that set. Rather than merely doing a bit of sonic manipulation of source material, this trio have created an entirely new offering by balancing thoroughly revisioned previous tunes with a handful of new tracks that follow the same creative line. The hard dubbing remixes don't rely on Greenall's voice (again, as one might expect); instead, they rely on it as an instrument, as is proper, in a rhythm-first aesthetic, where bass, drums, and loops are elastically altered with sonic elements and textures -- from stretched, wafting synths to tablas, cymbals, and loops -- pasted on layer by layer. Together they paint a massive, spaced-out, trance-like aural portrait. Greenall's singing is added in piecemeal for emphasis, multiplying the atmospheric effects -- check the driving pulse of "Looking Too Closely [S036dub]" and minimal industrial abstraction in "Pilgrim [Moda232]." Of the new tunes, opener "Fall Into the Light" and "Suffering Is the Art of Love" offer the best of both worlds. Fink's trademark electronic singer/songwriter approach is present, but decentered; it bleeds into nocturnal, smoky, 21st century dubtronica. Horizontalism is not only a worthy follow-up and extension of Hard Believer, it stands on its own as an excellent addition to the band's catalog. ~ Thom Jurek