IIOIOIOII - Chroma + Chromatic
Ambient, Industrial At first glance the combination of letters found within IIOIOIOII's name is quite daunting to a casual listener. I remember when I first stumbled across the name myself; I wasn't sure how to pronounce it and found myself doing a half-assed yodel. This was, of course, before I found out that the artist chose the name due to design choices and could simply be called IO pronounced "eye oh". Through luck that had me writing on Brutal Resonance at the time I was able to come across IIOIOIOII when they released their highly praised and sought after album "Sun" via the now defunct record label Juggernaut Music Group. 

I'll be the first to tell you that when I heard 'Rising Sky' for the first time I was floored. It's a fantastic synthpop jam with industrial flavors sprinkled on top. To this day I find myself going back to that six year old song whenever I'm in a sour mood. It always brings me up and puts a smile on my face; it puts my mind in a lovely state of sheer wonder. My love for IIOIOIOII has never faded since then and I've been following founder Christopher Gurney's progress. . 

Gurney's effort following "Sun" landed him on analoguetrash, a British based record label who has a love for underground electronic music. "Post Brimstone" was released in 2015 and while it was not the swan song I had hoped it to be, the EP still had plenty of charm wrapped up in its five song package. Just a year later, Gurney crafted an excellent expanded edition of "Post Brimstone" featuring remixes from prominent musicians such as Nature of Wires, SØLVE, and Avarice in Audio. However, after "Post Brimstone" there was a four year period of quiet as IIOIOIOII was preparing and mounting a dark synthpop assault that has come to us in the name of "Chroma + Chromatic". 



Once again partnering with analoguetrash, "Chroma + Chromatic" is a gargantuan double album featuring twenty total songs, with eight of those being remixes found on the second disc. As can be heard in his music, Gurney has cited Depeche Mode as an influence on the album with recent sensations such as Health and The Black Queen also falling under the roster. In comparison to IIOIOIOII's previous releases, Gurney has definitely kicked up a dreamy element on "Chroma + Chromatic" with constant ambient backing in each of his songs. This is immediately present as the album comes in with 'There's Nothing' which has a thirty-some second intro of nothing but spacial texture; this sets the mood for the song itself and the entirety of the album. My favorite songs on "Chroma", or the first ten tracks, would include the previously mentioned "There's Nothing", "Haloed Eyes", and "Black Skies". 

There's a who's who of remixers present on "Chromatic" all of which are worthy of mention: Adoration Destroyed, Lorelei Dreaming, Grendel, Glass Apple Bonzai, Nature of Wires, Cat/, The Rain Within, and PreCog. Of these wonderful artists, I'd have to give specific nods to both Adoration Destroyed and Cat/. After listening to an entire album of calming and soothing albeit darker synthpop, I was ready for something a bit mean - and that's where Adoration Destroyed delivered. Their remix of 'There's Nothing' pulsated with grit; the ambient wonder of 'There's Nothing' was gone and a new toughness was born. Cat/'s remix of 'Shallows' took the song and transformed it into an 80s like ballad meant for the dance floor; I was a little shocked as to how much they transformed the track. "Chromatic" also ends off with two more songs from IIOIOIOII, both of which are worthy enough to fit on "Chroma" itself. 

IIOIOIOII has done a tremendous job with "Chroma + Chromatic". I don't think there are any other words that I can type out without sounding redundant, so go out, listen to this, and buy the album. 
5
Brutal Resonance

IIOIOIOII - Chroma + Chromatic

9.0
"Amazing"
N/A
Electroracle
Released 2019 by AnalogueTrash
At first glance the combination of letters found within IIOIOIOII's name is quite daunting to a casual listener. I remember when I first stumbled across the name myself; I wasn't sure how to pronounce it and found myself doing a half-assed yodel. This was, of course, before I found out that the artist chose the name due to design choices and could simply be called IO pronounced "eye oh". Through luck that had me writing on Brutal Resonance at the time I was able to come across IIOIOIOII when they released their highly praised and sought after album "Sun" via the now defunct record label Juggernaut Music Group. 

I'll be the first to tell you that when I heard 'Rising Sky' for the first time I was floored. It's a fantastic synthpop jam with industrial flavors sprinkled on top. To this day I find myself going back to that six year old song whenever I'm in a sour mood. It always brings me up and puts a smile on my face; it puts my mind in a lovely state of sheer wonder. My love for IIOIOIOII has never faded since then and I've been following founder Christopher Gurney's progress. . 

Gurney's effort following "Sun" landed him on analoguetrash, a British based record label who has a love for underground electronic music. "Post Brimstone" was released in 2015 and while it was not the swan song I had hoped it to be, the EP still had plenty of charm wrapped up in its five song package. Just a year later, Gurney crafted an excellent expanded edition of "Post Brimstone" featuring remixes from prominent musicians such as Nature of Wires, SØLVE, and Avarice in Audio. However, after "Post Brimstone" there was a four year period of quiet as IIOIOIOII was preparing and mounting a dark synthpop assault that has come to us in the name of "Chroma + Chromatic". 



Once again partnering with analoguetrash, "Chroma + Chromatic" is a gargantuan double album featuring twenty total songs, with eight of those being remixes found on the second disc. As can be heard in his music, Gurney has cited Depeche Mode as an influence on the album with recent sensations such as Health and The Black Queen also falling under the roster. In comparison to IIOIOIOII's previous releases, Gurney has definitely kicked up a dreamy element on "Chroma + Chromatic" with constant ambient backing in each of his songs. This is immediately present as the album comes in with 'There's Nothing' which has a thirty-some second intro of nothing but spacial texture; this sets the mood for the song itself and the entirety of the album. My favorite songs on "Chroma", or the first ten tracks, would include the previously mentioned "There's Nothing", "Haloed Eyes", and "Black Skies". 

There's a who's who of remixers present on "Chromatic" all of which are worthy of mention: Adoration Destroyed, Lorelei Dreaming, Grendel, Glass Apple Bonzai, Nature of Wires, Cat/, The Rain Within, and PreCog. Of these wonderful artists, I'd have to give specific nods to both Adoration Destroyed and Cat/. After listening to an entire album of calming and soothing albeit darker synthpop, I was ready for something a bit mean - and that's where Adoration Destroyed delivered. Their remix of 'There's Nothing' pulsated with grit; the ambient wonder of 'There's Nothing' was gone and a new toughness was born. Cat/'s remix of 'Shallows' took the song and transformed it into an 80s like ballad meant for the dance floor; I was a little shocked as to how much they transformed the track. "Chromatic" also ends off with two more songs from IIOIOIOII, both of which are worthy enough to fit on "Chroma" itself. 

IIOIOIOII has done a tremendous job with "Chroma + Chromatic". I don't think there are any other words that I can type out without sounding redundant, so go out, listen to this, and buy the album. 
Aug 09 2019

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

Share this review

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
0
Shares

Buy this release

Bandcamp

Related articles

IIOIOIOII - 'Reflect'

Review, Sep 04 2013

IIOIOIOII - 'Sun'

Review, Nov 04 2013

IIOIOIOII - 'Post Brimstone'

Review, May 10 2015

IIOIOIOII

Interview, Sep 18 2013

Shortly about us

Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

We cover genres like Synthpop, EBM, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Neofolk, Darkwave, Noise and all their sub- and similar genres.

© Brutal Resonance 2009-2016
Designed by and developed by Head of Mímir 2016