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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Hyperion V Accretion Disc (2023)

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

A surprising album of sweet cosmic dance music wrapped in a sober, effective sonic texture

1 Astasis 4:25

2 Surface Gravity 4:06

3 Lagrangian Point 4:08

4 Spectroscopic Binary 4:36

5 Baryogenesis 5:48

6 Deep Sky Object 4:43

7 Oumuamua 4:23

8 Synchronous Orbit 5:02

9 Protoplanet 4:38

10 Graviton 3:15

11 Flare Star 5:23

12 Coronal Mass Ejection 6:31

(CD/DDL 57:05) (V.F.)

(Electronica EDM IDM)

With its chaotic rhythm sequence wrapped in an organic membrane, Astasis attacks our ears with a groovy dance anthem. Rather like Robert Schroeder's universe, the sequences hop along with a chirping, cybernetic language effect that radiates out from some of their beating. The bass line stretches its elasticity, croaking as it jumps limply back and forth, while the electronic percussions hit our ears with a drum'n'bass style. The setting is rich with this female voice speaking to us through ears lost in the haze of sleep, and the tones of an organic and artificial universe typical of Thomas Mystified Park's experiments. And it doesn't stop there! As soon as Surface Gravity grazes our eardrums, we notice this strange direction for the Portland label towards the universe of progressive Electronica à la Massive Attack, if not Portishead, without the delirious voice of Beth Gibbons, with a trip-hop move at its most sober. Between these two styles, Lagrangian Point offers a more muscular sound envelope. But what is this ACCRETION DISC? Who is, or are, Hyperion V? Spotted Peccary literally takes us by surprise by adding a new palette of styles to its agenda. Hyperion V is the equivalent of a supergroup if we were in rock and/or progressive rock territory. It's the artistic union of Ben Cox, responsible for the astonishing Consciousness and Other Tricks of the Light in 2020, Thomas Park, renowned for his experimental textures and collaborations with Shane Morris, and Plexus, a new artist, at least in name, that I never heard of. Together, they have concocted an album where groove, drum'n'bass, hip-hop and similar trends are covered with the sonic glitter of a more intelligent Electronica, IDM, which has nothing to envy to the cosmic grooves of the famous Aachen musician.

Spectroscopic Binary follows the tangent of Surface Gravity with a rhythm embellished by a lounge club vision, the keyboard, where the jazz essence of Ben Cox is felt. With its oblong bass structure whose lasso effect bewitches the listener with its excellent play of percussions and their repetitive machine-gun fires, Baryogenesis is in a class of its own. The rhythm coos and bewitches in a particular style where the bass is worth its weight in gold. Male vocal effects disrupt the moods of the music with flights of tchack-a-tchack, much like the percussions. Very good and quite innovative for a downtempo skillfully shaken up by fascinating percussions. Here, as elsewhere, the keyboards are in harmonic mode and the synths adorn the ambiences rather discreetly. Deep Sky Object changes the game, with the long Coronal Mass Ejection, offering cosmic ambient music surrounded by a beautiful palette of complementary sounds and sound effects. These tracks remind me of the musical directions of another American label, Synphaera. Oumuamua explores a tribal Electronica rhythm with reverb effects that contort into a sky encircling a spasmodic dance anthem. A female voice hums sensual, wordless tunes that melt into the reverberating effects of the synths They're aggressive, the synths, in this track that's well animated by brilliant percussions playing. This is modern dance music! More explosive, the percussions are particularly brilliant in this excellent groove with a more rock tendency, Synchronous Orbit is another strong track in ACCRETION DISC. The bass is a killer, as is the one in Baryogenesis! In a style that sounds like nothing but is very effective, Protoplanet is exactly in the Robert Schroeder genre. A fusion of groove, hip-hop and rock in a cosmic envelope where every second is well hidden behind a note, a sound effect. Shredded by distorted guitar effects, Graviton runs breathlessly through a more experimental structure that reminds me of Robert Fripp's audacities. The guitar, or at least its textures, is also present on Flare Star. A track more in the tribal alternative rock genre, I hear Middle Eastern tunes with this guitar-trumpet texture, than electronica with a slow, spheroidal rhythm well supported by percussive type-writer hits and clattering percussions effects.

How would I approach this ACCRETION DISC? Because at the very beginning, I was far from convinced to continue discovering it and telling you about it! Because the genres on offer aren't my cup of tea, and I'd already given in the 80's and 90's. It's more a question of respect for the American label's directors and Howard Givens, who is as brilliant as ever at the mastering, that convinced me to go further in my discovery of this new Hyperion V project. Titles like Baryogenesis, Oumuamua and Synchronous Orbit quickly became incentives to discover even more of the dimensions of ACCRETION DISC, which, in the end, is as good as, and even better than, many of Robert Schroeder's albums in his attempts to tie 70's electronic music (EM) to the EDM, IDM and Electronica genres.

Sylvain Lupari (September 2nd, 2023) *****

(NB: Texts in blue are links you can click on)

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