I don't know a whole lot about Ari Russo. His new 5-track EP is plainly housed in a red jewel case with a sticker affixed that tells the names of the tracks. The CD itself only has two lines on it that form sort of a "T" intersection. When I took it out of the case and actually listened to it for the first time, I had no idea what it would sound like, nor any preconceptions about the music itself, which is kind of nice in its own regard. Over the course of 23 minutes, Russo explores what most kids these days like to call IDM. The tracks are light and melodic, veering off in the direction of playful Warp artists like Plaid one moment, and into more old-school sounds during other points.
The disc opens with the track "Pola," and although it only runs just over 2 minutes in length, the track flutters along at the beginning with light melodies that sound like they might be played on a toy piano before a thick, purring bassline rolls in behind things and the melodies stagger, one taking on a harder edge in contrast to the light sounds of the original. "Bodybit" builds up with some of those aforementioned old-school sounds, with a squelchy touch of acid sounds, before dropping off into something different entirely, while a shimmering progression builds up in the background that reminds one of an older Orbital track (in a good way).
"Pumpkin" again mixes light melodies with rumbling low-end, while "Lullaby" skitters along the edge of glitch territory, with quiet melodies that sound like the track title while something slightly sinister rumbles in the background. It's the album closing track of "Ruby And Gold," that takes the proverbial cake, though. Slowly building from almost nothing, the track features a layer of harps over slippery electronic sounds for something quite lovely. Strangely enough, the track drops off into something completely different for the second part (the "Gold" part of "Ruby And Gold" I suppose), keeping the light melodies, but adding an almost dubby rhythm.
Mixing samples of organic instruments with programmed beats and other tomfoolery, Russo has constructed a very nice little first EP. Although there is some fairly thick low end programming at some points, it mainly falls into a lighter, more melodic side of the electronic spectrum, and wouldn't sound out-of-place next to artists on the Morr label. A short release from someone we'll hopefully hear more from in the future.