Healing Force Project
Temporal Pole EP
TBR: 17th April
When unique and complex structure meets freeform jazz and cerebral drumming, Healing Force Project have the venue. Antonio Marini's sound adventure has been ten years in progress, with this new EP as the latest revelation. Electronica and jazz have a long-established history together and this particularly abstract vein perhaps holds the most exotic and choice renditions. Jazz-O-Tech have bases in Milan and Berlin. They are well-known for releasing jazzy beats and funky techno made for liberal music fans who like to dance. They want to highlight sounds that reject the conventions of genre and formula which so many artists swear by. Perhaps the left-hand path of music production, or maybe just a laboratory of sound, many of us simply prefer the looseness and lack of simplicity that forma libera brings.
With thunderous low-reaching bass, manicured and metallic, the music begins. A slinky beat scoops sections of rhythm in neat tempo-based lines. Underneath, synthesiser whistles and glows like dimly luminescent surfaces. Drumming is gently added, tiny turns of the dial bring an ever shifting amplitude into being. Harmonising chords strike melodic inflections of motive into the funky and hypnotic repeating rhythmic bass. The music evolves, computerised effects shift the notes of the bass around like ice on watery plates. Cymbals crash and break like eggs into the mixing bowl of sound. This first track is called Parallel Universe and it draws us in to an angular world of flashing light and temporal pressures. Spacious and far-reaching drums build with shakers and tom-toms in a peaking of flow.
This is followed by a T Kode Remix. Open ended mechanical sounds clamour in windy passages before the tubular and vibrating bass plunges in. Neat tapping drums spray bursts of percussion into the process which scatter and pin like shots and darts. A stitching feel is woven in as beats begin to repeat on themselves while reflective surfaces echo the layers into a reaching illusion of progressive sound. Twangy bass jigs behind thick and long-winded atmosphere which shimmers and cuts in various aspects of undertone. Drowned out sustain and feedback grows in heaviness until the music ends.
As we hit track three, a scatty laser throws pulsations of energy in three-sixty directions. A solitary cymbal crashes on icy breakers while notes and mystique build in graceful movements. Harmony with disjointed phonics builds within bubbling and shifting matrices of sonic jumbles. An alloy of tone and rhythm melted into hard and shaped crevices gently cools in anti-gravity machine yards. Air bubbles solidify in baubles that glisten and quiver with the wisping pressures and motion. Scattered prickles of incandescent keyboard merge with bell-harps and revolving drum patterns sewn with sequins and polyphonic drama. With ephemeral progress, Temporal Pole fractions out with prismatic dissipations and rainy headway.
To finish, the previous track is remixed by Stndrd. It begins with spacious and catchy beats that clatter in close walls. Decorations of bell and melody throw abstract lighting through the persistent percussion. A drifting pressure maintains a force to push against while drenched sunlight warms and continues to build bubbles in the corridor. The drums are given more energy, a frantic surge on bass and snare builds through and almost overpowers the rest of the track. Abstract fractals of glitter and sunrise swirl within mechanical and formulated beats adorned with novel and characteristic elements.
Healing Force Project are on Facebook
Jazz-O-Tech are on Facebook
Frequency Wars EP
Out 21st February
Bricolage return and fans of Kill Them With Noise will be pleased to know their hero is back with more music. This latest incarnation of the techno power-house from Glasgow brings us a more science-fiction and exploratory version of what we've learned already. Where the future is revealed through the medium of cutting-edge sound design, techno music puts it to rhythm and unleashes the waves on unsuspecting listeners. This snappy EP makes use of the new direction with three originals plus a couple of remixes to finish the cake.
With zaps and shifting drums, the music begins. Synths with electronic static sounds build through with abstract Jungian melody like bees in an oscillator. Then, a breathy tone is unravelled. It breaks through the fizzing like a dose of clean water before the rhythm builds up with more variations on the clicking, tapping patterns pinned together with bass. This then builds to become a stand-alone sound, throbbing dives with nods to dub-step plug the gaps and bury the evidence. Drums rise once more, changing all the time and adapting nuances and emotive edges with every few bars. Use Of Weapons is exciting and spins like a circus act on ropes, sticks, and acrobats.
This is followed by Battle For The Magnetic Fields. Shiny cymbals scatter luminous shimmers through a stereo landscape while synthesiser growls and howls with distortions of nature. A Morse code style rhythm enters, to be replaced by random and heavy-duty lasers. Reverberating drums with far-reaching tone cross boundaries in ever pressing vibes. Steady flowing tempo is layered and adapted in chapters of sound that consistently beat yet sound dissimilar and intellectually challenging. Deep and cavernous thumps dance with evocative cymbals until close.
Next, an astral wave of effervescent shine glows from the silence. Computer sounds and moving parts clamour together in a programmed dance. The beat coalesces with the atmosphere as the melody shifts like light behind moving clouds. Spaced out tones fly in various sonic directions as the rhythm builds into dropping drums and shattering cymbals. Scavengers at Station 11 is like a far-out fantasy based in some variant future. The drums evolve and open out like pages in a book, notions of harmony whisk through giddy spaces while persistent thumping drums continue to plot the course.
The music ends with two remix tracks. Battle For The Magnetic Fields is given a new sound first by Yasda. It's given dominant plucks and ghostly wails which draw our attention through a mist of rubbery bass and manic skies. Truly mind-boggling sounds emerge as part of a juxtaposition of character and flow. A matrix of strangeness grows in steady and graceful pockets of dream.
Doxil takes the helm for the final version. The same track is redressed and spiced up once more. Thundering drums bounce from close-knit walls as damp cymbals slosh with juicy spray. Then a snare roll brings on a synth blast, highlighting a sense of pressure. Everything changes, a classic trance piano riff shines on, chords played repeatedly and to a jangling rhythm bubble and roil as their tone is thrown from effect to effect. Catchy drums with great breaks maintain a fun and spiky version that's set to make people dance.
You can listen to Urgula on Soundcloud
And get the EP from Bandcamp
Nocturne Edits 02
Out February 21st
Jordan's sounds have sky-rocketed in popularity since the first Nocturne Edits release, so what better way to thank the fans than make a brand new one. Again, the 80's retromania is given centrefold while simultaneously elevating the original artists with lights and colours. We all want to listen to the original of the tracks we like, to see how it has evolved. Electronic music seems to evolve at a swifter rate than other genres, perhaps due to the Moore's Law manifesting in various ways. Maintaining an edge that holds roots in decades past is making sure these modern creations sit on solid foundations.
It begins on Touch Me, an Eileen Flores edit. A synth blasts out with a solitary chord to make way for a sleek and seductive rhythm. Bass and snare roll between shakers and hats that curl and crisp around the edges. Then, bass plunges in like a dolphin moving through deep waters, the melody repeats in up and down motions while pushing the track forward. More strikes and blasts on the synth reverberate around the spiralling core until a dominant melody is worked into the mix. Harmonising with the bass and sitting comfortably on the jangling percussion, we're lifted into new levels. Vocals are then added, we get verses and choruses that are melded to fit snugly in the flow of the track. More euphoric keyboard breaks surge the music onward through the commotion and into a catching and enjoyable dance track.
Second is Visitors, an edit of Koto. A space-age range of percussion instruments beep and shimmer alongside hand-drums and organic wooden sounds. The juxtaposition of sciences brings a wide scope for the track to build into. A chunky bass is added, it pounds like a knock on the door. Airy synths and extra drums find a moment to enter the building, and the bass takes hold once more. The synth takes time to find it's feet, murmuring in the corners with intention to join in the dance. Then, when it comes out of its shell, we're blown away by what the track was missing before it was making its moves. Fans of heat with glowing light break like waves over a steady flow of bass and drum. Then all calms down for the synth to do a solo walk through a tunnel of bewitched party-goers. The rhythm returns with a new angle, and the melody shifts to change the lighting of the room.
On the flip side, a neat house-style beat opens the first track. Light taps on various percussion instruments gives rise to an evocative and effervescent drum-riff which gradually builds with reverb and breaks. A bass-line finds a neat slot to apply its groove and away we go. A funky and up-beat energy permeates the drive. A synth volley is mixed in, then a melody on airy and chiming pads gives rise to another level of the track. Harmonic surges push the boundaries in consistent pressures of shifting tone. The drums by now are tapping in a manic and quick tempo that's notched to the top with various elements. A break ensues, allowing chatty drums to take the high road before another dose of synth breaks open the next phase. This edit is of Simon Says, originally by Secession.
For the final instalment, it begins with a high reaching drum pattern that's full of bells and tapping wood. Tropical sounds are given a line in the mix, before a robotic voice breaks everything down to a verbal flux. Voice and drum work together on pin-point beats which creates a surge of energy lifting into the ceiling. Layerings of drum and bass are given graceful amplitude that steadily climbs across the frame in slow movements. Synthesiser drone adds a mysterious harmonising sense which leaps into forward areas. A melody with great rhythm is brought to the front, it heads off with the synth and drums follow in a fortifying line. Vocals again make an entrance before a whistling melody adds yet more colour to the multi-layers and progressive composition. Boogie Down Bronx by Man Parrish is given the edit and it's a full-on dive into groovy beats and euphoric drum loops.
You can find Jordan on Facebook
Crime Wave EP
TBR: 16th March
Voitax Records welcome back Makaton with his second solo EP. Proving his establishment in the scene over and over with various incarnations of sound, this new release can be seen as an education in wave-design and harnessing of the rhythm. A household name for industrial and experimental techno fans in his home town of Birmingham and beyond, Steve Bailey aka Makaton has been in the club spotlight since the late 90s. He's played all over the world and enjoys a brilliant response at each set. Remaining unrivalled in many regards, Bailey's inspiration seems to come from the landscape of his industrialised home. Perhaps best known for his work with Rodz-Konez, a label that he created for his own sounds and now holds over 60 releases from many great names, the tip of the chisel can be found with this expertly made music.
The music begins with an instantly grabby bass and drum motif that plunges and flies all at once. Hard hitting tempo structure bounces on a glistening surface of frothy pads which convalesce in a bed of petal textures. A rip of bass then tears across the surface in a tidal blast of sound. From the opening left behind emerges a set of dribbling tom-toms. They push the rhythm forward in steady quick kicks that rumble and jitter across the static flow of bass and snare. The music evolves again, releases deep and throbbing bursts of heavy bass which gargle in a vocal-line of electronic distortion. Bruise Violet reaches down and presses the tender core of what others left behind with rhythmic salve.
Rise and Kill opens up with a steady bass beat. Its puncturing sound pushes up through the treble end from its tree-trunk root of strike. A twanging bass-pulse is added, it boils with tense energy that reverberates on steadily rising runs of cymbal. Minimal focus gives rise to a wave of buoyant synths which dance and tap on the quickly turning wheel beneath them. A new layer of percussion follows, catching the loose ends and knitting them into the fabric of sound. That bass manages to continue with its hypnotic pulse and underpins the track to a consistent groove. After a couple of passes, the bass is given a new dose of energy. Fluffy chords that reach deeply span outwards for a brief melee before that stitching beat is brought back into line.
On the B side, the music starts with another catchy bass and drum riff. It jigs along a bouncing line of bars in a consistent and mesmerizing loop. As it progresses, an injection of subtle tone is given at the precise moment to break another level of trance. Deep and metallic bass notes continue to plunge as snappy brush strokes on the snare give a rhythmic high. The treble end is brought down to almost zero which elevates the subtle sonics within the bass-line. As the cymbals and snare are gently released from their gated state, a new wave of energy is brought to the floor. Pre Language feels like a track best used in conjunction with something else, a great dancing beat perhaps for something originally more melodic.
Double Heart begins on a gently flowing synth melody that bubbles and fizzes with airy tones. A kick drum pushes the beat down with apt sonic clarity while a chuntering bass continues to lay out a distinctive vibe. Droning melodics soar like shooting-stars over mountain ranges poking through misty terrains. A continual evocation of melody formulates behind a curtain of consistent rhythm, allowing journeying and adventurous minimalism to sample areas of the scope build of sound. Ripples of walking bass take turns to dance in line with the head-space clearing symbiosis of cymbals and synth.
You can follow Makaton on Facebook
And find out more about Rodz-Konez online
Visit Voitax Records online
Find Voitax Records music on Bandcamp
Science Cult Records
TBR: 3rd March
Exploring our relationship with machines and space travel, Stefan Weise aka Syrte takes the soul of our hardware with an electromagnetic microphone and puts it to rhythm and music. How have we grown with these devices in our lives, what backdrop of audio has our generation been subjected to? Have we learned anything new? Let's discover what directions these five unique mixes take us as the concept of technological advance is explored through composed electronic sounds.
It begins with Obedience Paradox. Scattered electro beats fling off in rhythmic directions around a 360 degree audio space. Swooshing sounds fly from side to side as chatty and expressive drumming creates a symphony of electronic percussion. Crunching bass and fast-paced cymbals sit on either side of the pressurised flux. A consistent rhythm works through a shifting sky of moving elements. A vocal sample with extreme robotic effects begins chanting in time to the flow. A consistence threads through the piece as new sounds of movement and operation fold into the mixture.
Next, a lo-fi bass and cymbal riff begins. Synthetic beats rage forward which include laser zaps and squelching undercurrents. The tempo doubles up as new percussive sounds fill the spaces between the beats. A jarring swathe of rhythms fly by in regulated bursts. Changes and evolutions allow new flavours of electronic sound to make themselves apparent through the churning restlessness. A squashy bass drops through the sky which carries currents of tempo through and out as a continual pulse presses forward. Simulation Assimilation takes a catchy tempo and fills it with interesting atmosphere.
Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions begins with zaps and bass reverberating in a consistent tempo. New sounds are added, a melodic bass that clunks and chords in splurges of electronic output. Then, a synth adds a layer of atmosphere beneath, howling winds of digital sound delicately flow and fill all the spaces. That zapping rhythm continues, propped up with insets of fizzing energy and rhythmic melody. Up and down bass notes dance along sponges of cymbal and snare which eventually break down into an interesting drum-fill that breaks like yolk across the plate of stability. Vocals sneak in, whispered voice with plenty of digital effect warms and hushes behind frantic beats that don't want to sit still. Nervousness and addictive elements combine to an intellectual foray of formulated beats.
Robotic and mechanical beats emerge from the silence as the next track breaks into being. The music progresses and builds slowly at first, fizzing with potential energy. Swooping runs on electronic drums add their flavour as broken beats find jigsaw snug places to exert their tempo. Zaps and bass rip lines in the under-fabric which become seedbeds for churning and jittery melodic beats. As if reversed or squeezed through some kind of phaser, the melody brings itself to the boil under its own sonic pressure. Mechanical Matriarch insists with rhythms that gargle and build in exciting and coherent bursts of energetically abstract sound.
-1815350400 begins with a metallic rhythm that's slow to start. A deep and toneful bass kicks along at a regular pace while the rest of the loops are spliced in regularly. Dancing keyboards create swirling loops of rhythmic melody as the percussion builds into sweeping runs of percussion. Repeating phrases on all sides create a rotating energy that spirals up with each bar. A new addition of vocal again brings a human edge, and still this is covered in digital garnish. A prominent vocal line is provided for the first time and we get a sense of verse although it's hard to decipher the words. This final number has a slightly dreamier sense to it, with slow moving directions gradually forming around crystals of rhythm.
You can find out more on Syrte on his website
With The Void
UFO Inc. Records
Out 10th February
Singer, DJ, and live techno performer Heidi Sabertooth rattles out a brand new EP to kick off another fantastic year for UFO Inc. Having an expert knowledge of her kit that brings out a stunning live element to her work, this prolific producer from New York is raring to go with this new release. Passionate composition involving three vintage instruments brings out a modern yet fascinating visitation to past technology. Expect to make acquaintances with the iconic Roland SH-101, Korg ESX2 Electribe and Yamaha DX200 with this record, three legends of antiquated hardware that push the genre in every feasible direction. Paying attention to the necessity for groove and accessible tempo with a desire to experiment and rewrite loose boundaries over and over, this project demonstrates how creativity and crowd-pleasing work together.
It starts with a high-speed melody that jumps in scales around a building dirty bass. The beat pushes harder until it brings mists of static across the melody loop. Then, a brief pause in the rhythm brings the notes to the front once again before a new layer of rhythm is added. Bass and snare with rapid-fire hats break across the motif which begins to warp and shift under the weight of several effects. Waveforms are squashed, twisted, and stretched, as various elements of the track swivel and swerve to the rhythm of the consistent beat. Dark Adaptation does have a sense of the shadows about it, pressing tones with anxious beats rage through a repeating and shifting kineses of progressive dance. The track builds with ever more layers of intense rhythmic clarity, building the pressure to higher degrees of frantic pace.
High Wire begins on a sudden bassy drop into murky depths. Bubbly treble splashes in variant tones around the plunging under-section. Pattering drums rain down as squelchy sounds build and froth on the edges and drift to the curdling centre. A sludge of sound infused with inflection of zap and stable drumming gives a dark and viscous mix that draws us in like syrup. Extreme elements of flavour mature within the whole as streaks of sound dash from the bars into reverb and sustain. Random yet beautifully aligned beats continually add their adjustments and tones to the gathering sonic soup. Are we balancing on a line suspended high above this bubbling cauldron of synthesiser and drum?
A bass melody full of vibrant character opens for track three. A pushing drum slides the bars up into concertina folds of repetition before a new line of snare and hat brings about a sustainable flow. The cymbals build gradually in bursts layered over many loops, eventually bringing in with full confidence of their imperative for a dancing tempo. Steady clunking beats provide a slow and graceful swing through twangy notes that rumble on slightly muted bass strings. Oscillating tones warp and gurgle as the hypnotic rhythm seduces the mind into a spongy state of acceptance. An Eye Is My Why perhaps means that knowing look that doesn't have to explain a word. As the music progresses, the gravity of its cool brings it to it's knees before yet another layer of sudden rhythm scoops it up and flings the track into a new dimension.
To finish up, we get Ur Pushin It. It begins with a ferocious bass beat that's filthed up with crunchy distortion. A plucked melody breaks through, with a simple three tone drive that begins to form a rhythm all of its own. Massive drumming filled with slices of cymbal and snare rolls continues to provide a chunky wall of sound to bounce the dance melody against like a squash ball. Pulsing synths then push in, bringing with them a space-age burst of futuristic sounds and computer noises. A sci-fi reality of hard-core dance smashes into existence as our ears soak up the universe of effects and rhythms offered to them.
You can follow Heidi Sabertooth on Twitter
Also, Listen to Heidi Sabertooth on Soundcloud
Sobranie 8 18
Out: 3rd February
From the dark and mysterious corners of the Russian gothic music scene comes Sobranie 8 18. Nastya and Kirill are two like-minded lovers of the avant-garde who have a long history of making music together. This latest incarnation of sound is taken from the Russian word for “meet together”, like a joining of minds this project shows that retro concepts and modern art can converge in fascinating ways. It's taken Sobranie 8 18 over two years to finalise this long-awaited LP, with a clear distance between it and their debut EP that shows in the complexity of sound. Now with a live instrument ensemble to colour the electronics, this ground-breaking work is bound to be long-lived.
The album begins with an intro. Sunny sonics drift through in slow carrier waves of glare. These build and bloom in various directions before a stamen of rhythm breaks free. A drum-roll breaks into silence. This gives birth to a slightly creepy synth which dances on adjacent black notes in an airy melody. Progression brings the track to choral voices chanting melodiously before a droning synth shatters the haven. Drawn out bass tones thump down with thunderous timbre. Voice shines from the vespers, clarity and passion rings through.
Next, a beautiful tone threads through the quiet which provides a line of voice like ribbons on a kite high in the sky. A bass throbs underneath then another voice with a robotic effect starts to chant in time to the slow moving tempo. The mixing of male and female vocals create a dualistic energy which provides mental poetry in the composition. Lucy is a steady tread through sludgy beats and ravishing bass that shakes and crunches under the weight of the song.
Mozart follows as gentle synthesiser pads sing in radiant harmony with soaring vocals. Distant bells chime while whistling hums generate an air of sparkling mystery. Plucked notes delicately rise from the garden. Then, with thumping bass with a frantic beat alongside sirens, the music breaks free. A new dimension is given to the track with a sudden thrust of kinetic energy. Synths shudder forwards with hard-hitting momentous tones which spiral into skyward chaos. Wailing words painted with sharp emotion frolic with intense presence before a small selection of bells ends the track.
A darkly sound boils from beneath the sonic cosmos as the next track begins. So deep it digs, the synth plunges tones into the seedbed for musical shoots to rise from. Voice and synth compliment the underside which evolve and progress into a verse. New and catchy melody forms a hook within a chorus section where the repeating melodics in the vocal give an easy route to memory. Angels Fight seems to be a dirge for someone admired. The original energy breaks down for a middle section where sombre droning bars hold onto what's left of the fading feeling. From here on, the track builds up once more.
Spaced-out vocals with layers of reverb shine from glistening pools of ambient synthesiser tone. The melody builds with chording harmonies and layers of vocal which dance seductively around the flow. Saxophone makes an interesting edge that illumines the open space. Ripples spike and bend the music through a strange and interesting effect. It sends the mood into a strange netherworld that compresses with encompassing composition. A melody from the sax again plays out, matched by the vocals which consistently decorate the scenery with feelings and verse. This is Stars. It shifts to iconic piano sounds as if in a long forgotten music hall before breaking into beats and synths once again.
After is another intro, called Intro 2. Moving tones wander across simple scales with shifting inflections, raising consciousness at different levels. Vocals that have been altered in tone and delivery are looped and knotted across the rhythmic notes in an almost alien way. Laser zaps fill a role, pinning us to the music.
M.I.R follows. It starts on Kirill's vocal in a Gregorian style with harmonising tones in monotonous stretches. Then a keyboard begins with a harpsichord like sound with bells adding extra flavour. More vocals, this time from Nastya, follow an additional melody that patterns the fabric of the music in another new way. A continual progression throughout the song-writing gives rise to a folky and melancholy shuffle through all manner of expressions. Flutes are added, bringing a pause in the vocals, before more layers of harmonisation are projected like images across the song.
A twisting high melody needles through open night skies like rockets in the distance. Bass vibrates and climbs various nodules of course-way as the track clambers over new ground. Rhythmic strikes match a simple minimal drumbeat while walking bass keeps an energy burning. Vocals keep to folklore style hypnotic bursts that dance with the lead melody. Harmonica invites us to dream in a Jungian reality crafted in song.
Sad Song begins with a sombre vocal stitched to droplets of shimmery tone. As the melody shifts, drums enter to lift the composition off of the ground. Pulsations of music swell and burst over crisp beats and fizzing bass. Delicately adjusted arpeggio drifts across until it evolves into something more melodic. Ballerina like vocals dance and gesture with every poetic line.
To finish, a throbbing industrial bass begins the music. Reverb drums tap and snap over echoing pattern lines while the bass synth flattens to reveal a higher edge. Swishing chords flutter in neatly times pulses as decisive lyrics build from the quiet. Rhythmic lines generate energy as each follows from the other. Intensity in the pressure grows as drums and bass combine over the building fire. Kirill's voice makes another appearance which simmers down the music to gentle piano tones, out of key and ghostly. More melancholy vocals layer over gated synths to allow a dancing pulse to progress from the emotions.
Exciting, ever changing, and full of folk energy, Sobranie 8 18 uses Russian and English to paint fascinating pictures of intense and beautiful sound.
Follow Sobranie 8 18 on Facebook
Sobranie 8 18 is available on Bandcamp
Disintegration State Records
TBR: 14th February
Disintegration State kick off another dystopian year of gloom and hope. Regular artist Ghost Halo is first on the 2020 bill with a record of polarities. For some 2020 is a glorious year, filled with new beginnings and stable fortunes. For others it's another downward spiral into disillusionment and disarray. Does it depend on how you look at it or does it depend on how it looks at you? For the Electro Review, readers can be safe assured that we will continue to be a light in dark corners where the best of the underground electronic music scene is delivered for all, whether you can afford to donate or not. We know you're all equal and you're all welcome here.
It opens with a swelling of static nurtured with deep tone. Airy atmospheric pads sparkle in the distance and grow to fractal like wisps in gently moving sound tendrils. The music builds in gradual flow, like the smouldering of embers scattered in dry leaves. An n sprawls out as a new synth distils the static. Then, a short chime melody on poignant bells breaks open a new chapter. Rhythm leans in, splashy and scattered beats meld in flames left over. More original shifts in direction follow as the feeling of the beginning phrases once again work into the mix. Floating Body is a spacious and expansive track, layered with interesting sonography.
NYC Ecstasy Comedown again brings itself in with a static warmth. Then what sounds like a mangled guitar begins strumming a simple beat. Kinetic chords build up with a shaker rhythm, decorated with tinkling metal-work. A vocal sample asks if we know where dreams come from. Our pineal gland has optical sensors in it, so I like to think they come from there. More stringed notes add layers of melody as the rhythm progresses with additions of flowing percussion. A smooth beat washes like waves through the music until we realise it's moving traffic.
Next a deep chiming bass meets house style drums that tap on light surfaces. The melody progresses until odd angular harmonics are added, giving everything a synthetic feel. Repeating phrases of digitised bell work their way forward, providing leverage fore another layer of movement. A vocal sample says something, too distorted to tell, and rhythm is added bar by bar. The solid bas-line keeps time while abstract samples revolve around temporal foci. A dynamo of Velcro scratches slinks underneath while up-drafts of melody and percussion keep the sounds fluttering above. Fractal Headroom makes links to consciousness through repeatable formulae.
With slow tuneful pulses, Carcosa begins. Winding notes of string and synth creep in distinctive alcoves knitted from loose and expressive sound. Gradual progressive bars build like drifting snow across stout dry stone walls. Odd percussive clangs then fill an off-beat void while dreamy motions of composed flux merge into whisperings and solemn tones.
Next, a minimal beat strikes a slightly quicker tempo. Bass bounces and echoes through a forest which grows from voices planted in the astral bed. Whistling tones strike violin like pitches which skate in upward spirals towards the unreachable sky. Odd vocal rhythms and airy sounds mingle like shoaling fishes in icy pools, touched by the deathly finger of winter. Where brown leaves glide in downward swoops across open meadows, birds flutter in half-built nests within Stripped Trees.
It's the sixth track and we find ourselves in Salem. Eerie synths portray a desolate scene as variant stabs and sticks make odd drumming, almost timeless, as part of a larger whole. Solitary trees rattle in windy evenings as magic fingers up through the floorboards. A slightly more heavenly harmonic emerges from the phantasmagoria as unhurried percussion forms overhead.
A characterful tone springs to life as we hit the next number. Alluring beats are laid down in a smooth as ice fashion as a funky edge to the chords livens up the mood. Rattling drums and distinctive sound-effects briskly journey through mirrors and symmetry. A tonic of loop and melody unravels and shifts along its line of progression. Patterns and colour schemes adapt and repeat while the outer realms swirl and mist beneath forlorn motifs. The Yellow King is a relaxing wander through sound, with attractive choices in the electronics making it extra special.
Emma's Dream opens out with a flower of chiming loops, additional elements form around and underneath to produce an aroma of sonics. Shifting bass coils like ivy around an old stump while lights of colourful sound twinkle and shine. The rhythm works like footsteps that traverse through knotty bass-line organics which grow into shoots of digital manifestation. A continual energy of mystery permeates the music until it fades.
Strange voices begin the new track. A slowly vibrating synth shimmers with miraging tones as a windy bass howls over resonant crags. Another heavier layer of melody joins in and it's carried by percussive build-up. This formulates on neat hat-strikes and steady kick. Joyous piano-bell tones dance like light reflecting from crystal as marimba like chimes resonate around its axis. Empire Of Light sounds like a relaxing place, maybe we'll need our sunglasses while there.
Next, a downpour of Chemical Rain opens the title track of the album. Uplifting chords work behind curtains of deep body-rich bass drum. A tin strike provides another dimension of rhythm, new areas open for exploration. A garbled sample sings odd words across the taught weft of sound, a build-up ensues as rhythm and synth swirl together in motions of attracting dance. Extra effects are added to the sample as it mutates and distorts across angular contours. The music breaks down to a bass and drum, then piece by piece the rest finds its way again. A leftfield sense to this track gives it an accessibility many will feel at home with.
A melodic rhythm comes next, chimes and conks work together along with a stringed riff which could be some kind of harp. Harmonising tones reverberate through the grids of sound as various constituents glisten and warp on their buoyant surfaces. Whistled notes worm around the framework in graceful gestures until all is boiled down to high energy static. The Gods Are All Human, or are they?
Converge takes place after, it opens on a wavery electronic beam which migrates into a howling wind. Guitar notes pluck a delicate melody through the wispy sonic, a folk edge brings about a feeling of warm fires and friendly faces. Warm beacons of sound radiate through thick atmospheres of calming infusion. Things settle down to a solitary tone which moves up and down in slow paced transformations of pitch. Crackling rain of digital static fizzes within window frames neatly positioned among the stereoscopic production.
Drums and synth add a dualistic layer of sound, vocals say something out loud like “get up” or “get em”, then strange tones waft and haze in streaks of musical intention. Bowed strings sweep from side to side as vocals craft harmonies and sounds with expressive phonics. Psyop is a short number, which prepares us for Murder Witness as the next track. Wholesome synthesiser works alongside two-step drumming to bring on a dance feel wroughted by ambience. Breathy zones and steady pace-work sink down into comfy postures as various phrases and melodies volute in timed sections. The merging of melodies brings out a hypnotic and joyous sensation which rides on the steady persistence of the drum structure.
Choral busts of ghostly presence unveil for the penultimate number. Vinyl static grinds like magnified dust on the tip of a needle as slow moving tones swirl in gusts of viscous geography. Bayonets of amplitude bring the music to various boiling points with jab ever so slightly until the background hum once more over-senses the ears. Abstract sounds creep in like distorted telephone chatter, instructions or affirmations sprinkle long forgotten verbal data that by now has decayed into garblings of expired intention. The Alphabet City Killings has a dark and sinister edge yet glimmers in promising directions.
Drums begin American Winter. Simple interjections of percussive sound build around a slow moving tone which hums and sings across a splash of harmony. The drums progress, new sections of percussion grab holds in the spacious wall of capacity. Extra tones find their way in layers of calm while the presence of rhythm continues to build in with a sophisticated kismet. Gentle washes of vocal make swaying signals through the pressure of simmering drums and coining projections. The voice about dreams returns, reminding us of the beginning of this immaculate and munificent offering of an album.
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Rowan Blair Colver for The Electro Review.