TBR: 13th August
A year since the previous offering from Manchester's Sarmism on Glasgow's Bricolage label, the lockdown has ended and we're free to roam and visit once more. This latest album sheds the restraints of yesterday and adapts to the wide world once again. Designed to be a soundtrack to escapism, a score to freedom, and an exploration of modular sonics, this eclectic and prolific label once more retains its crown thanks to this new Sarmism album.
It begins with Elixir. An enchanting massage of sound wafts from the speakers as it gathers sonic detritus and flyers on the way. Soon a torrent of fluttering tones list into the hillside and snake through the trees. Amplitude rises on the synthesiser tones that sparkle and shift like fluid sunlight. Then, a bass hammers in with deep and meaningful strides. The long-distance holds on the notes bring a sense of dub-step without the aggro as heavenly arpeggios drift and fly through the cracks in the ceiling.
A gust of air and a change of scene brings an ethereal and fixated gaze inward. Voice samples roll over pebbles of distortion as drums punch and pound with melodious percussion. Synthesiser breaks the eggshell and throws down a smothering of bass which soon takes hold into the piece. New sounds swerve and decorate the rhythmic pace while whistles and strings reach into the abyss. New bass floats down and grafts itself in, mechanical edges now revolve and pinch as the groove is exhaled gently. Oroshi is sudden and invoking as the music changes gear into new dimensions.
Ever been to a Silent Disco? That's the next title and it begins with effervescent synthesiser that builds with gradual ballast. Stability rises through spectral openings and dream-like formations of tone. Harmonies push the feelings of expansive surroundings into new avenues of thought. The culmination of repeating phrase and organic melody paints a delicious picture of winding intentions and symbiosis.
Piano and string follow with dreamy trip-hop inspired grooves. Vocals chant lo-bit vibes as rhythm and bell tinkers with an orchestral pulse. Drums smash through like a presenter walking on stage. The music erupts with vibe and light as the rhythm surges into the missing space. Dramatised and cinematic melody hangs like clouds in low valley skies as a snaking bass starts to explore the contoured terrain. Melody encapsulates Dunes (Reds) with an other-worldly majesty that tingles with snippets of intuition that flicker in the ruminations.
Huge synthesiser horn and wind tones tremble and quaver in the sudden purpose of being as Trig Points begins. Sunken drums begin to tumble down staircases of sonic semblance. Distinctive additions form pockets of sound in the matrix of repeating chime and drum. A gradual progression sees the drums mutate into a glitched and electronically inventive simmer. A broth of percussion bounces on the sizzling oil as it's spoon-fed into the pan.
Vibrant metallic bass reaches out into darkness with hopeful fingers, willing there to be something to hold onto. Drums pounce like nerve endings that shatter the fright with realisation of substance. Twangy motifs resonate on wood and wet stone as steady progress sees the approach of luminous skies. A persistent and metered delve through mysterious sounds and oddly harmonious reflections takes us to Elysium.
An enchanting and illusion invoking mirage of tones rise from vaporous beginnings. Keys strike apt tones as creaking wet wood rumbles within. Day is breaking, scattered blips begin to shine down on the forlorn landscape described with lush and evocative sounds. Bass and drum then thump through as the main element of the track blooms. Waverings of synthesiser streak across the sky and thundering surges of energy rattle through the temporary haze.
With glistening surfaces and warm radiance a melody grows gracefully through a boundary. Lost in its own imagination the tune reveals a passionate envelope of humdrum and what-ifs that marble through self-awareness. Affirm is a short number yet carries us through perfectly.
Next, a river of sound gushes from the open valve and covers the scene in warm crystal layers. Bubbles of bass begin to burst, releasing their buoyant sounds as they go. The flow settles to tranquillity and synthesiser describes the smooth and static surfaces submerged with gently moving water. Codename WL throws ambience to the fan and lets hyperactive mental function make a meal of the shapes and textures offered.
Vocal and plucked string begin the next number. More ruminations evaporate into the ether as new thoughts replace them and build on their foundations. A rumble of drums with a dirty edge scuffs the shiny shoe before taking a cool swagger through the arcade. Avatar is another choppy number, it changes and shifts like a rolling dice with different faces. The basic design is the same, however, and familiar patterns continue to reveal themselves in numerous costumes.
Completing this astonishing journey with Heroes, a distance reveals distorted choruses and heavenly songs that draw us to the light. Like a moth we're drawn to the next world that leaps at us over bar and composer led burst of emphasis. A mix of sounds join in harmonious chaos which ripples with tingling freedom and a gut-instinct for appropriateness.
Find out more about Bricolage Records and artists like Sarmism online
When it's out the album will be on Bandcamp
Find Sarmism on Soundcloud
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