I was introduced to Trills on the recent Section 27 release “PH 14”, a split between him and some other guy who’s name escapes me. I was, therefore, quite happy to receive “Modular Puzzle” to further my research.
If you took Boards of Canada, Autechre and Aphex Twin and blended them in a large test tube, shipped them to America and injected them into a host stem cell and raised that stem cell as an electronic musician, you may end up with something like Trills. His influences are obvious (to me at least) but not in a crude way. This is a man who has been listening to the right stuff, while far enough away from the scene to fashion his own take on things. It is also an album of contrasts, one moment he is all futuristic (“Paragon” which is kind of like EP5 era Autechre but with straighter beats) and then on the next track (“Erawitt”) he’s on a kind of 80’s sci-fi movie thing…like an alternative soundtrack to “Running Man”. Then he’s all experimental and industrial on “Zurich”, before dropping in a retro sample and going all glitchy acid hip-hop on “Binarium”). Some people might struggle to move between styles like this but I can safely say that the ball is never dropped on this album. He maintains his own identity, while throwing his influences at a blank canvas and carefully squishing them around, to form something new and old, experimental but enjoyable and challenging but friendly.