“An audacious album conceived in visions that take us away from the base of music as such” Do I have to talk about it? Write about this new album released on the Cyclical Dreams label? Because this adventure to another sonic galaxy is one of the most daring that I've heard from the Argentine label. Are we in the realm of anti-music? Of sources of noise as a new sound mosaic? The debate remains to be made. Let's start at the beginning! Who is SONICrider? Jurgen Winkel is an artist-producer-musician from the Netherlands. His creative leitmotiv is to stimulate the senses by combining electronic music sources and analog sounds to produce highly experimental music that he considers danceable. He aims to make intimate shows where the audience travels through his galaxy of sounds. Can you really dance to ELAPSUS' music? Unless you are a member of the famous dance troupe La La La Human Steps or have the elastic body of Louise Lecavalier and/or of her students, the chances are slim through the almost 2 hours of this new offering from Cyclical Dreams. ELAPSUS, meaning Escaping, is a concept album that attempts to describe human behavior in the face of the planet's challenges. It is SONICrider's reflection in sound on the escaping behavior that humans adopt in the face of the deteriorating climatic phenomena and planetary dangers that threaten our societies since the appearance of COVID-19. To run away from reality instead of facing it is to defer the responsibility to the next generations who will have as a model our vision of running away from reality. For his part, Jurgen Winkel is convinced that we must be one with the universe. To be part of it, without governing it or changing it! But how does this translate into music? First of all, the download album is divided into 2 parts. There is the very experimental and mostly atmospheric portion of the 9 parts of Temporalis without any rhythmic life sources. Totaling nearly 25 minutes, these short sonic interludes are complements that precede, and sometimes follow the other 10 tracks of ELAPSUS. But often, they are totally disconnected in order to inject even more of an experimental vision into the album. They can also be quite musical, like TeMporalis II and TempoRalis V, or ambient with a possibility of meditation, I think among others of TemPoralis III, TempOralis IV, and TemporaliS IX. For others, dissonance and speech are sources that intrigue as much as they can irritate the growth of eardrums. It depends on your taste! I liked the very alien TemporaliS IX. It is the tracks between these sonic interludes that are the most interesting. And still, some of them have the tuning forks of Temporalis. Incipit is a slow track. The fluctuations of the synth waves take on different tonal tints that lie between the music and its distortion effects. They thus structure a slow procession, to which low pulsations and sober percussions are grafted, which advances towards a more experimental form of atmospheric music. The listening experience is all good. MORES is a track that is also quite discoverable. Its heavy, slow flow hammers our eardrums with a dull resonance, whereas its musical envelope is divided between an organic and electronic vision. There are many sound effects that flirt with dissonance and distortion. A recurrent phenomenon in this album. Its finale can assault the sense of hearing. That too is a recurring phenomenon! You have to be patient with EFFUGIENDI because, after its 2 minutes of discordant effects, a superb structure of pulsating rhythm magnetizes our senses with a flavor of the vintage psychedelic years. It sounds like a procession, a war march of a tribe of iconoclasts. The same goes for the hard-hitting CUM. These two tracks, along with UNUM, are among ELAPSUS' finest moments, as SONICrider tests the tolerance of our desire for adventure in the realm of experimental music with high discordant sonic flights for most of its album. NON puts down its repetitive loops in a rather particular electronic din. AUXILIUM is a difficult track that will appeal to fans of Władysław Komendarek and Conrad Schnitzler alike. FIET offers a festival of minimalist loops with fine modulations apt to make our memories hover in the time of La Messe pour le temps présent from Pierre Henry and Michel Colombier. It can be discovered quite well! Same for UNUM which is in the same diapason as EFFUGIENDI with successive and repetitive beats in a mass of more dissonant sounds. CUM is as much wild, seductive, and lively as these two titles, raising the interest to rediscover the whole of ELAPSUS from this Dutch artist who proposes with UNIVERSO a title of cryogenic ambiences of the same nature as the black and cold works of Stephen Parsick in his series Doombient. Exire loops the loop with a structure that is similar to the one which opened ELAPSUS, incipit. Here is the topo of an album download that is not for all ears. I rubbed mine because I like to listen to Cyclical Dreams' proposals and because I learned to respect this label which has never been afraid to take us out of our comfort zone by proposing us sometimes very audacious works. ELAPSUS surpasses, by far, those of Ariel Raguet in The New Memories and John Scott Shepherd in Realms Beyond. Although the latter had a nice alien texture. Two albums at the antipodes of a meditative and melodious EM! But there are passages that are worth discovering in this audacious album conceived in visions that take us away from the base of music as such from SONICrider.
For more information visit: ELAPSUS [CYD 0064] | SONICrider | Cyclical Dreams (bandcamp.com)