Oblique is the project name for local electronic producer and Saint Francis grad Mark Waldick. 

Since 2019, he has been making hip-hop-influenced electronic music, releasing the synth pop-heavy Last Call with help from guest vocalists. 

On the latest from Oblique, the mostly instrumental You’ll Know It When It Happens, Waldick leans into the more atmospheric aspect of Oblique’s sonic world, creating 11 tracks of pop and hip-hop-inspired production and making a tight collection of IDM. 

While mostly instrumental, You’ll Know It When It Happens features two collaborations with vocalists. First is the electro pop “Didn’t Let This In” with Slova, which is a big and bold pop ballad with lush production and breathy vocals. “Castaways” with Astronun is a more club-ready track with a danceable rhythm and some skronky noise thrown in for good measure. 

What’s left are nine tracks that vary from club-ready dance tracks to pop-inspired hip-hop instrumentals. While nothing veers into the instrumental electronic worlds of artists like Autechre, Aphex Twin, or Daniel Lopatin’s OPN, Waldick creates short electronic cuts that are less moody and meditative and more about movement and feel. Tracks like “You’ll Know It” and “Something New” are closer to Baths and Neon Indian — glitchy and atmospheric tracks that push the listener to move. 

Something like “Bleed Me Dry” feels ready for an MC to put some verses over the glitchy noise and distinctive beat, while “When It Happens” sounds ready for pop radio dominance with its crisp production and infectious rhythm. “Shatter” stands out production-wise, as it opens with a heartbeat-like rhythm and hazy production bringing to mind Huerco S.’ excellent Colonial Patterns album. While the song opens and blooms into something more radio-friendly, Oblique keeps that feel just under the surface. 

You’ll Know It When It Happens is a solid electronic album. It feels like a sampler platter for a producer to play for possible collaborators as well as a perfect standalone IDM album to get lost in.