Orpheu The Wizard's day jobs have included curatorial work for Het HEM and cofounding Red Light Radio, whilst he spends his evenings at the sharp end of the international DJ circuit. This release on his Wake Dream label could be seen as an output of such cross-discipline cultural spelunking.

Talin's Ruutu Poiss' music was the genesis of Wake Dream, and here he returns for his second full-length album after 2021's 'Palav Aed'. Recorded in the dark of winter, 'II' is a puzzle box of record that doesn't readily give up its charms. It rewards linear listening and is sometimes challenging and somewhat discordant. For all that, it bears a resemblance to the structure of a DJ set: an atmospheric opening that gathers force and momentum.

'II' was born of a limited palette—"mainly... one synth and a collection of old drum computers," and Poiss has created a world that is both intimate and weirdly huge. He's coaxed a remarkable breadth of sounds from minimalist gear, but this has also given the LP a distinct sense of cohesion. The record is a surrealist hybrid of the ancient and modern; spiky, rickety drums meet razor-sharp sound design. This music finds a visual expression in the uncanny photography of Arne Maasik, whose work graces the cover.

In 'Arbo Disco', a surprisingly strident electro bassline plays out against a heavily affected rhythm that finds its own lopsided funk. 'Kappa' features sunshiney, dare I say balearic synths offset against a tricksy beat that leaves the listener wrongfooted. There are repeated nods to both the post-punk and jazz movements. The whole of 'II' is filled with such contradictions—clearly the work of a producer becoming increasingly confident in their powers. Poiss brings a spirit of avant-garde experimentalism to the electronica LP format and is becoming a unique musical voice.

'II' is out now on Wake Dream