Ariel Digit – “the boy needs therapy” – a musically liberating conception!

Right from the start, “the boy needs therapy” is a strange, challenging listen. Running through his catalog of songs, it is clear that Ariel Digit has never had any qualms about straying from the norms of electronic music. Ariel twists rhythms, hooks, samples and effects on most of his songs. But what’s incredible about this latest tune is that it manages to trap you inside its repetitive vexing. During my first listen, I guessed – correctly – that this track would become an enduring favorite. Even if you find that you need more time to appreciate Ariel’s take on electronica at first. Soon, you’ll find yourself wondering how you’ll ever manage to resist the straight-up bizarre beauty of his tracks.

New listeners to Ariel Digit will most likely warm to groove-laden selections like “up and down like a see saw,” “the suns not cumming out today” and perhaps even the oddly catchy “ten bottles of bear on the wall”.

Ariel Digit’s tracks feature sparse eclectic arrangements, and while not always as easy listen as commercial radio stuff, they are always rewarding ones. Once they catch your attention, you realize you wouldn’t want to hear these songs made any other way.

The same applies to “the boy needs therapy”, which quite frankly, is one of Ariel’s most accessible tracks. This single was my introduction to Ariel Digit, and while some of his other songs are just as innovative and challenging, this one is my favorite.

The musical imagination on display is really something unique. The effect of this piece is not in the melody, or in the harmonies, but in the strange chemistry of the bass motifs linked to unfamiliar synthesized musical sounds (many sounding like hybrid instrumental vocals) morphing across a slowly evolving rhythmic landscape.

The sounds and motifs Ariel Digit uses, will open your ears and expand your musical expectations. The music (and words) on “the boy needs therapy” will touch something deep within your psyche, provoking an irresistible reaction. Ariel is certainly an artist that doesn’t like to be pigeon-holed. Creating gut busting bass rhythms one minute, and then unleashing sublimely original abstract electronica the next.

This track focuses squarely on bass resonance, eclectic synth sounds, a repeating hypnotic lyric, and a constantly evolving soundscape. Ariel Digit’s level of mastery, of sound and space is truly extraordinary, and the temptation to layer the song with more percussion or electronic samples and synths has been resisted and thus incredibly impressive. Instead he preferred to rely on the minimal washes of synth sound and a constantly walking bassline to complete this extraordinary song.

Compared to many other current experimental electronic releases, “the boy needs therapy” is a step forward in every sense. It discards much of the easy going, pop or techno-styled beats in favor of a true descent into a minimalist soundscape. This is a musically liberating conception.

When you listen to this for the first time, it’s like some hidden door to your own mind just opened, allowing you to immerse yourself in the music. What makes it special is the combination of little, surprising sounds you just won’t hear used elsewhere. Ariel Digit takes his many influences – among them probably ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’ by The Avalanches – and creates his own musical world.


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