Crosswhen EP 2020
Out 18th September
An exploration of changes and motion within human and musical culture, Crosswhen transcend the usual processes of sound creation. With an ethos to diversify and explore the realms of possible in the process of studio recording, this album is designed for use on headphones. Let's face it, all music sounds better on headphones, but this goes the extra mile. Expect a three-dimensional sound-sculpture that swallows you whole.
It begins with Yearning. Strange tinny noises crumble into the stereo which accompany odd rattles and deep resonances that seem to dig trenches. The music thickens gradually, with additive sounds finding all manner of direction within the scope. Humming static then creeps forward and by opening its coat wide, takes over the scene with layerings and pockets that shake with their own possession. Synthesiser then forms, waving notations sparkle in jetties of output as tranquil chordings breath underneath. After a few moments, the flow quickens and brings on a flush of happening formation before voices break free and push the spaces between the bars further apart. It's at this moment when a shuddering bass fills a previously unknown void, and rumbles with clearly defined attitude. This basis for harmony then gives license for the composition to flourish among fluttering of synthesiser and effect.
Next, dapper tones sway from nearby walkways into earshot. We listen as dancing melodies playfully gather among self-similar tones. The undertone then grows with a crackling that emerges as a bell like echo that hangs gracefully on the moving form of sound. Rhythmic clingerings rattle as metal-ware crockery tied to a pacing mule. The tempo is fortified as amplitude brings forward the rhythmic melody while spacious sounds grow and shine within confineless captivity. Deep chimes then add a bass to the breathy euphoria before a sudden rush of natural drumming brings out a fantastic energy that so far remained occulted. Repeating and warping bass notes then begin to chatter in a defining melody that evolves into a full-on synthesiser motif that shatters the stillness with piercing beauty. Paradem moves us from the tranquil resonances and into the choppy mountainside that bounces with historical charm.
Then comes Mono No Aware. It fathoms slowly, pulsing melodics arpeggio into a rhythmic wave as depth-charging bass plunges with anchoring energy. The tempo builds, the pace is enlivened by energy as extra functions of sound swell and shrill into the airspace. An edgy retro sensation dresses this number, oscillating tones and polyphonic waveforms apply themselves in well-designed patterns of time and pitch. Subtle builds find handholds in which they lift their whole sonic body into position. A knitting of harmony and synthesiser variation enjoys a driving journey into so-far unexplored avenues and valleys. About half-way through, the music boils down to a gentle simmer which grants us access to some of the lighter touches that go into making this monument of sound. A gentle progression then brings all back into clarity as heavy and hearty bass and drum roll with ethereal qualities.
Following this, a solitary piano like note drifts in delicate frames of tone that spill into bassy edges and sudden dives through spacial awareness. New parts of our inner psyche are revealed with every ounce of the drum that pounds onward through our hypnotised soul. Hissing and whispery side-effects then coil into a shifting saw that boxes us in and shines bright lights into our face. False Vacuum is like a closing space that doesn't want to hurt us yet we can't help feel unnerved by its ever pressing energy. It breaks loose with high-flying synthesiser tones that throw themselves into kited bursts that dance in rainy skies. We are set free and caught on the thrust of the wind. Frantic and devastating breaks then thrash out the last of our ignorance as wisps and lanterns spiral in gleeful orbs.
And finally we are left with Follow. This one breaks into being like the dawning sun over the ice-caps. Cool beams of shining sound flow from distant sources before sweeping us with their gentle warmth. As the body of light lifts higher, bringing its face into view, more rivers of cosmic energy flow and river around us. The ground warms, a thump reveals life in the old and freeze-dessicated rocks. The white shelves of ice twinkle in forlorn glitterings that beckon closer yet warm of deep and unforgiving crevasses. We plunge through the glare with the wind at our faces as the future is determined by our accordance to time. The sounds swirl and collapse as each portion of the arena of impetus shatters under the weight of impending blizzards. Refreshing and emotionally moving, the last track leaves us feeling satisfied and enthralled.
You can get your copy of Crosswhen EP 2020 from Bandcamp
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Rowan Blair Colver for The Electro Review.