Croatian minimal synth hotshot
Ivan Antunović has operated under various guises (The Fall Guy, Dissident, Narrow, Split Personalities and more) since 1998, but the Zagreb-based virtuoso has been releasing scintillating minimal synth/darkwave music under his own name since 2015. Having grown up with the synthpop/new wave groups of the former Yugoslavia, as well as The Human League, Eurythmics, Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire and Swans, it’s all loosely distilled throughout his lustrous, pulsating machine rhythms. “‘Love Is A Stranger’ is to me what ‘Teenage Kicks’ was to John Peel,” he says.
Having found a spiritual home at Belfast electronic label, TONN Recordings, his new album ‘Sub-object’ properly sets out his stall. Exploring the dynamics between sound, image and text, the collaboration between TONN founder/visual artist Mary McIntyre and photographer/writer Frédéric Huska sees Iv/An’s resonant electronics take centre stage. Eschewing his own distinctive voice, ‘Sub-object’ is rooted in gloriously austere and filmic textures. From the haunting ‘Tact As In Tactile Sound’ to the experimental, Radiophonic Workshop-imbued cut-ups of ‘The Promise Of Exposure’, and the icy frisson of ‘Static Tableaux’, channelling early 1980s John Foxx, it’s quite the statement.
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He’s recorded some great cover versions – his 2018 take on The Normal’s ‘Warm Leatherette’ incorporates Nitzer Ebb’s ‘Join In The Chant’ and Depeche Mode’s ‘I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead’ to irresistible effect. And his own 0.5 micro-label, specialising in limited, beautifully designed DIY releases is worthy of further investigation too. Best of all, with a host of further collabs in the pipeline – including Tral Neu, his new virtual supergroup with underground music chums – there’s much more to come from this restlessly prolific and thrilling electronic whiz. Watch this space.
‘Sub-object’ is out now on TONN Recordings