Like many albums, the cover of Christoph De Babalon's masterpiece If You're Into It, I'm Out Of It
reflects the music itself. The cover depicts De Babalon, standing, with his back to a wall, with a cigarette in his hand. It, however, is not the figure that is so important, but the shading, the picture is in black and white. This is an album full of black and white tones, black distorted breakbeats, and white melodies and sinister soundscapes. In terms of mood, this album is black and white too, it's sinister and dark, but a strange, white beauty still shines through.
As Christoph De Babalon's first full length, this a huge sprawling double album, packed full of his vast ideas. Three of the four sides open with a lengthy ambient track. The albums opener "Opium"is one of he aforementioned songs. It is constructed of gently pulsating droning noises, of varying pitches, and gradually building up and layered upon each other. Samples of laughter are extended and distorted until almost unrecognisable as laughter, and become mesmerizing waves of noise. These samples and the pulsating drones give the song a feel very much like that of the ocean: it sounds
like waves. Upon first listen, it sounds almost like Aphex Twin's Ambient Series Volume Two
with all the melody removed. However, upon repeated listening, it's inner beauty shines through, while still sounding sinister and twisted. This is almost the essence of this album, and certainly the ambient song--they manage to appear menacing, but strangely beautiful simultaneously.
The second ambient song, "Brilliance"has a perfect name, as it is the most instantly melodic on the album,it's brilliant, it shines out. It is, essentially, a striking synth line repeated for seven minutes. It changes slightly and layers are added, but fundamentally, it is this beautiful synth line that is so worthy of attention.
The rest of the songs on If You're Into It, I'm Out Of It
are songs that possibly qualify as Junkle. They combine strange melody lines with extremely fast breatbeats and polyrhythms. He also extensively uses ambient effects over the top, and this and an extra, interesting dimension to the music. The closer,"My Confession" laces together all three elements, and forms the most sinister and brooding song on the album.. It begins with a low frequency whirr, that reminds me of the continuous roaring of the rain and wind during a rainstorm. Suddenly, a fast beat explodes, and the song is instantly transformed. It's melody line comes in the form of church bells chiming. It's beat stop and starts, allowing both it's breakcore side and it's ambient side to be present. The melody line to "Damaged III"sounds vaguely like someone playing an electronic xylophone extremely erratically.
Possibly my favourite song, "Nostep"has the most darkly beautiful melody line. Duel beats are laced over the top, and unlike the rest of the songs, they aren't breakbeats. The first is slow, almost industrial sounding, and the second is also slow. What is so great about this song, though, is the indescribable way they beats and the melody intertwine, the end result is perfect.
This is almost a perfect album, but one major complaint could be it's length,coming in at 77minutes, this is a hell of a long album. However, his ideas are too vast and too abundant to be implemented into a shorter album, and the result wouldn't be as successful as this. The way Christoph De Babalon weaves together breakcore, ambient soundscapes and junkle is astonishing. He combines sinister melodies, with twisted breakbeats and manages to create an album that is beautiful, in a sinister and menacing way.
"Never have I heard such an evocative, lyrical album, without any words at all. Babalon's sound excursions are obviously intensely personal and terrifying at the same time. Mick Harris and Richard (Aphex Twin) James are the only two reference points I would dare to suggest to you. If You're Into It... is gloriously self-indulgent and unhinged, like everything that is young and snotty and brilliant. Step to this"---Mathew Moyer