The Butterfly Effect
TBR: 31st May
Wandering through the lanes of Glasgow while musing on the finer side of mathematics brought Bricolage to chaos theory. Fragile X runs the show, and finding the time to create something of depth and magnitude is an astonishing achievement. Where does this guy get his energy from? We'll likely never know, but one thing for certain is that The Butterfly Effect has been sculpted from some serious philosophy. When considering the mathematical nature of the universe, the particular model so far described allows for subtle shifts in sequence leading to massive changes further down the line. Who are we to know what our actions result in when considering the length and breadth of time? The Butterfly Effect examines this principle and concept with sonic clarity, designed and mastered by Fragile X. Like the words of a popular sermon, we're given food for thought and music to our ears.
The album begins with digital drums and cymbal crashes which reverberate into every corner. The build-up allows for a sonic pulsing that becomes bedding for a synthesiser tone that drones with illuminated timbre. Swirling and revolving notes join in, bringing a swoop of digital bliss which glistens across the crunching and forward moving rhythm. The percussion evolves along with the music, although the tempo remains stable, soon everything has changed. Deep and underground rumblings match with touchy drums that churn with a rhythm on either side of our head. Soon this is joined by a trill on the keys which spans the vast distances between the sonic entities. Initial Conditions (0.506) is a brilliant opener, a track that mutates and shapes on its way to the rest of the album.
Next is Chaos Theory. It starts with staggering drums that fizz with distortion while a tubular synth tone spirals out of control alongside. The rhythm picks up pace and the drums appear to double up which creates a surge of high energy and piercing thrashing as electronic drum sounds rampage in a uniform industrial fury. Undertones creep through the white-water, brief intermissions at first but soon an evocative and sky-facing melody breaks through. While the passion in the drums brings a fire and crackling heat, the tune that emerges from the embers is delicate and enchanting. The double bladed edge to this track has two reasons to thoroughly enjoy it. While drifting through cosmic open expanses, the continual pulsations of stellar energy brush over us like a blizzard of photons. Heavy drum and bass feels mix with ambient techno-drone to bring on a unique and beautifully disturbing composition.
Third comes a ferocious strike on synth drums, a tonal percussion surges with electronic power. Rhythm projects through on a deep and tribal edge while mechanical devices scrunch together in collisions of engineering. A bass line builds, jittery and frantic, and it assists a new level of drums that sit on the top layer like ornaments. Their energy and sustenance brings a new dimension to the piece. Breathy sounds start to swell within the tightly knotted progression, and these give way to even more heavy depth-bass which reaches in and pulls us towards the heart of the track. Synthetic blips and digital notes continue to pluck and pip like artificial bells. Strange Attractor then shifts. A new drumming element replaces the heavy duty welding of percussion to allow a smooth transition into a more dreamy yet still high energy nuance. This reduces further still into a minimal solo on one of the synths. Arpeggio and rhythm build and gradually pull everything back up to speed. The build up is well worth the break down.
Fractal Dust comes next. With this, intricate and intelligent drums begin to vocalise in energetic bursts. What could be the cheeping of birds flutters in from angles unknown before more drums add another level to the mix. Catchy rhythms break into rotating clockwork motions as warbling synths swoop in on loose and glistening boundaries. A soft and flavoursome entry for the hard-nosed percussion to share the space with, we're given another dualistic view on the world built by the notion of repeating patterns and minor adjustments. The entire whole is built from one element, and in our human world each element is given a degree of choice. The social fractal then is dependent on not just one factor but infinite factors which all follow the same basic rules. Is this what the music is trying to tell us? What is the constant principle in the social equation, is there one to find? The trigonometric parallax between trends sounds like electronica.
This is followed by the title track. A dreamy and free-flowing melody sprinkles its spices across the arena while clicking and reverberating rhythms sneak up behind. We're drawn in slowly on organic and wooden drums which roll and chant in natural clarity. Buzzing sounds and electronic mayhem can be heard swelling in the distant background as another wave on sonic illumination shines in. Like orbs of self-contained energy, the glowing sonics float around the scenery to examine the lines of drumming that belt the hills. The Butterfly Effect does take note of the splendid fragility of the butterfly, and although it undergoes a vast transformation is still vulnerable and priceless. Every action in this universe then must be treated with the same care as if it were a butterfly. That's what I think, anyway.
The album closes with Phase System (0.506127). The extra digits on the decimal point perhaps refers to some mathematical principle involved with chaos theory. Find out more about that here. After-all, when something as vital as an actual amount is neglected then the effects will always be present until it's balanced out again. A surging and slow moving bass builds behind emotional drums which chunter with a sombre energy. Breathing paces out the track in wistful and thought-provoking loops which gather and fold in various tangents. The vapours fade into ether to reveal a clicking energy that holds on for life. As the stalwart and determined magnetism holds while many things crumble around it, new and vibrant additions find their way in. Bass and synth strike sudden and floating compositions of simplicity and poignancy. This slower and more shoe-gazing side to Fragile X shows us a more tender side to the up-front and dynamic energy of the previous instalments.
The Butterfly Effect by Fragile X creates all manner of mental corridors to explore with the soundtrack of truly unique and attention grabbing electronic music.
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