CD in reverse-board digipak. Italian DJ and producer Manuel Fogliata hasn't released a lot of records since emerging in 2006, but the few he has put out have all been worth tracking down. Perhaps best known for his work alongside Donato Dozzy in creating the much sought-after Aquaplano records at the tail-end of the 2000s, Nuel has been just as consistent and impressive on his solo outings. Whether taking on metallic electro or syrupy, bass-heavy ambience, Nuel's attention to detail and his keen ear for a groove have made each release something to treasure. Nuel's only previous full-length, Trance Mutation (Further Records, 2011), is a masterpiece of minimal repetition. While initial impressions might suggest little in the way of continuity between Trance Mutation and the colder, more mechanical sounds of Hyperboreal, Nuel's ability to go deep into a particular mood -- a particular sound -- links the two. Recorded using just one semi-modular synth -- the boutique and sadly discontinued Ekdahl Polygamist -- and a handful of pedals, Hyperboreal came together in just a few days while Fogliata was staying with Giuseppe Tillieci (aka Neel, famed mastering engineer and one-half of Voices from the Lake) at Tillieci's apartment in Rome. Hyperboreal begins ambiguously, with the fluttering dissonance and shadowy aggression of "Steppin' Stone" immediately setting the mood. The opener's flutters become a swirling mass on "Polaris" and a venomous rattle on the title-track, before "-Om" evens out the maddening, almost frantic pulsations into a bed of twitching feedback and resonant echoes. There's even a hint of a regular beat, barely audible beneath the buzzing tones of synthesized electricity. "Intensity plays a fundamental role in what I do," says Fogliata, and listening to the opening half of Hyperboreal, one would have to agree. These are not casual sonics. Penultimate track "Be Well" lifts the shadows somewhat, and though closer "The Rest Is Noise" seems to return to a darker place, it does so with the memory of sunlight, warmth, and life. As its title suggests, this is an album for colder climates; for stark, inhospitable landscapes. At first, it seems a truly unsettling void of vaporous tones; a blizzard of sound refusing to coalesce and refusing to make sense. Slowly, though, Hyperboreal opens itself up, emerging patiently from an abyssal darkness into a beauty as still, as sharp, and as breathtaking as an Arctic dawn. Mastered by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.