Heatsink: Winter EP

On the Bandcamp page for heatsink’s Winter EP, a disclaimer reads: “Please listen to these songs on a stereo or quality headphones; computer speakers do NOT provide the sound range required.”

While such a statement can apply to most music out there – and really people, just plug in your headphones – it rings especially true on this album, a sprawling 20-minute-and-40-second electronic maze that jumps, dips and dives its way across the entire sonic spectrum and remains unpredictable to the very end.

Perhaps the most impressive part of heatsink mastermind Nicholas VanDyken’s first of three EP’s for 2013 is that it required no computers. Instead, VanDyken opted to produce the entire EP using real equipment – specifically, a Korg E-MX, Korg E-SX, Casio CZ-101 and a Casper Electronics Drone Lab. The resulting analog mish-mash comes together quite well – especially on the album’s second track “Search & Rescue” – without becoming too busy or overwhelming.

There’s a little something for everyone here, whether you’re looking for something to chill out to (“Play Evil”) or something a little more dance-y and uptempo (“The Gnarth West”). The moaning, grinding opener “Push/Pull” may very well be the strongest track on the album, but that shouldn’t keep you from checking out the rest of VanDyken’s offerings. Just make sure you aren’t enjoying them through your MacBook’s tinny built-in speakers.

Look for VanDyken to release two more EPs this year – one around April, another around August – before they are all included on his upcoming full-length, HTSNK. To purchase and download the Winter EP, visit heatsink.bandcamp.com.