Ataxia: the loss of full control of bodily movements
Ataxia, the latest entry into Matthew Mercer's continually sprawling discography, pivots sharply from his last full-length LP, May 2021's Nocturnalism. While Nocturnalism was a stark and mostly beatless love letter to late night urban exploration, Ataxia has a much more immediate focus on beatmaking, movement, and aggression.
Ataxia grew out of early sketches and ideas focused on repetition, slowly shifting patterns, and hypnotic loopiness, merging that framework with a loose unifying idea of disorientation and communication breakdown. Its eight tracks veer between throbbing slow techno, free-spirited improvisation, and chilly spaciousness.
From the fat squirming bassline and dancefloor pulse of "Paralalia" through the undulating wobble of the dizzy "Outer Cortex," the album complements these heftier dancefloor moments with the scaled-back open space of "Lethologica" and "Hyperbola," the mesmerizing shimmer of "Phosphenes," and the tense slow burn of album closer "Revok."
Even as Ataxia is beats-forward and has a more visceral momentum behind its arrangements, there is a common thread with Mercer's other releases in the use of unusual sound design choices, stereo detail, and the blurred line between texture and noise.
Created by Matthew Mercer
in Portland, Oregon, USA
Art direction, design and photography by Matthew Mercer.