Belgian artist Hans Dens puts out his sophomore effort, Backworld, after releasing his highly praised work, Future Life, last year on Aguirre. Dens uses synthscapery to construct his dystopia. Usually, artists who go to work and rely heavily on the synth create pleasure-induced bliss, but Innercity is all about the beautiful tension that the synth lends itself to between tranquility and melancholia. Good times can be had in the urban tragedy, but overall life is life and shit happens. I guess I would call it a sober bliss. That sounds totally like an oxymoron but Innercity makes it work. This is a realized, tangible, grounded bliss. I have to keep going back to the word “bliss” because that pleasurable, peaceful, and all-absorbing quality always permeates this record. Yet, it is anchored down by the downcast and glum. I’m serious, there’s a crazy tension here that I’ve never heard before. That’s why this guy’s getting a lot of attention right now.
Six tracks in all. There’s enough here between the two sides of wax to get you to question it all and at the same time feel strangely fine. Hear what the enigma, the contradiction, the artistry is all about. Comes housed in an LP sleeve with beauuuuuuutiful Abstract Expressionist-style muraled artwork. Just gorgeous. If you look closely at it you can make out some temple ruins, fertility gods, and indigenous peoples. But to me, from afar, it looks like some kind of postwar modern art canvas that’s larger than life. Also comes with a Xeroxed track list. Limited to 300 copies. Grab this. I think it might be on some best-of-2011 lists.