Second Nature (Dracula Horse)
Wesley Wyrick’s debut album, Second Nature, certainly isn’t an easy listen. It’s a psychedelic collage more than a collection of songs—10 eerie tracks built on left-field samples, electronic spasms, and droning, lo-fi synths. “StillNewMexicoDaveyJones” is the litmus test; opening the album with seven minutes of hazy abstraction, it crawls toward its conclusion in a blur of pulsing, relentless static. But elsewhere, Wyrick—who’s previously performed around the Knoxville underground as Dolphyn Ryder and American Panda—demonstrates a more adventurous approach to his electronic sprawl. “Dntwntmissit,” with its yelped vocal sample and crackling percussion, sounds like Animal Collective drifting underwater, peaking with a chaotic section with two juxtaposed beats; “HighestMtn” is a slow-building frenzy of loops, with frantic snare samples and in-the-red synths gradually layered into a carnival of noise. But the true highlight is “Itchllvelll,” which starts off in ’90s industrial territory, spiraling into spastic robot noises, hardcore hip-hop fragments, and hazy piano lines. It’s fun to play six degrees with Wyrick’s sound—there are bits of indie rock, ’90s hip-hop, Warp Records, and Flying Lotus all floating around in the stew. But given enough time to digest, Second Nature casts a weird spell all its own.