I was first introduced to Nathan Moody's Railgun project last year with an impressive 14 track demo. It seems only fitting (on the surface with names, anyway) that he would soon after sign with Gun Music for the release of this debut. "Schizm" is the only track from the original demo that appears on Delta-V. The rest are fresh, including a pair of remixes by Takshaka (Gun label-mates) and Scar Tissue (Moody, a graphic designer by trade, designed the covers for their early releases).
Delta-V is one powerhouse of an EP. It far exceeds any earlier material, as well as my own expectations. The project has come a long way in a short time. Moody has expanded considerably on what was a fairly straightforward formula of instrumental electro. There's more diversity here, and a fleshed out sound, which even includes its share of melodic hooks. With "Interlude: Dream Four," for example, a catchy classical guitar loop pulls you in before it seamlessly melds into the deep-pitched synth work and lucid backdrop. The simplicity is offset by the numerous layers.
"Scarab" probably has the most dance appeal of all these tracks, but with Gun's tag line of Fuck Raves, Fuck club hits, Fuck DJ culture you can rest assured it's not aimed at a dance floor. Breaks are dispersed over thumping percussion, samples and technoid loops. One sound used almost resembles a heavily manipulated electric guitar, an instrument Moody has almost completely abandoned for this new material. The remix of "Schizm" hones in on the rhythmic fundamentals, with vocal samples and repetitive synth work branding it with a distinct Takshaka flavor. Any likeness to the original is faint, even though there were very few new sounds added to the mix.
Scar Tissue's mix of "Gunrunner" only adds to my anticipation of their imminent debut as Form Alkaline. Though rhythmic, the rumbling beats act more as a vehicle to deliver the elegant, emotive melodies than as a focal point of the song. I can't even count all the layers of percussion. Moody sneaks in a last word with "PDM," a quirky track centered around a series of Twilight Zoneish vocal samples and Sci-Fi sounding musical accompaniment.
The one major downside to this CD is its short length; at just under a half-hour I find myself having to play it through 3 or 4 times each listen just to get my fix. Not only is Railgun officially out of the gates with this release, Moody is also working under a pair of new side projects, Dysfonik and Bitsplitter, which are set to debut on an upcoming Gun Music compilation. Apparently this release is but a teaser of things to come, and with enough material to fill a few albums Delta-V is assuredly only the beginning. Check out Gun Music's MP3 downloads page for a selection of full-length, unreleased tracks that'll get ya hooked.