As SIS, Burak Sar has been on the IDM / minimal scene since rising to fame in 2008 with releases on Cecille and Ricardo Villalobos' label Sei es Drum. And it's the latter that SIS most resembles on his sophomore album, Confidence, out on Wednesday through his own Cocolino label.
SIS takes much of the jazz influenced timing of Villalobos and the tear-stained soul of Nicolas Jaar and sticks them through a well-oiled manufacturing process, making tight capsules of deep, throbbing music.
Confidence has neither the at times barking mad tendencies of Villalobos nor the moments of left-field reprieve of Jaar, but he manages to conjure a number of well-worn moments here that feel both mechanical yet still used and scuffed. On Mangalarga SIS plays with looping Eastern melodies, bluesy sax and thick slabs of bass across a nine-minute-plus tightly wound experience. It pulls the listener in and out of bustling streets and buildings, between traffic and people, a picture of a busy foreign land.
Confidence is complex and full of detail, meant to be consumed multiple times to uncover subsequent detail. That unfortunately means that sometimes it just feels like the good stuff is hidden away behind too much filler... I might have come away with a more instant sense of satisfaction if I weren't initially confronted with ten tracks that stretch Confidence out to a length of 76-minutes.
It feels like at least part of Jaar's success is due to his ability to edit - Space Is Only Noise was a mere 47-minutes long and as a result it eschewed the sense of being slow moving. Live, Jaar often dispenses with such control but on record at least each new song he gradually drip feeds feels new and revelatory. In contrast SIS's strongest moments here - the soaring Misaki, or the taught yet Japanes Zen garden sounding Messara - sound a little like consolation prizes.
Forcing the listener to deep dive into oceans of sound looking for pearls is often par for the course for the genre, and something that the Godfather Villalobos himself is equally guilty of. In a sense it's a part of the experience, and gives Confidence a journeyed and hypnotic feel. It's an approach you will either warm to or you won't, and much of your relationship with Confidence will depend on how deep you are prepared to go.
Confidence is released through Cocolino on 17 April, preview via Soundcloud below: