MIKTEK: [Elsewhere] (2013)
Updated: Sep 15, 2020
“More sober than the usual albums from Ultimae, [Elsewhere] is the best way to finally be attracted by these soft psybient down-tempos”
1 False Dawn 6:28
2 Elephants 5:57
3 Incompressible Flow 5:19
4 Ominous Ride (album edit) 6:09
5 Human Theory 6:28
6 Abismo 2.0 5:14
7 Song of the Burning Mountain 7:02
8 Purity 5:36
9 Elsewhere (The Fade edit) 6:32
10 Magnificient Desolation 8:05
11 Nascency 6:10
12 Time or Place 5:42
(CD/DDL 73:41) (V.F.)
(Morphic and ambient down-tempos)
The universe of the Lyonnais label Ultimae Records is sewn by sonic enchantments which stroll in structures of down-tempos and ambient rhythms full of psychedelic froths. Except that sometimes, there are works which escape the artistic madness to offer us something of interest which at first hearing looked shady, disturbing and finally exquisite. That's what [ELSEWHERE] is all about. After having offered two compositions on the Ambrosia compilation, Miktek comes back haunting our ears with a first album on Ultimae which is justly part of those doors that lead to the other side of reason. It's an album which pounds of its rhythms as contradictory than ambiguous where the down-tempo is a king and master of its ethereal ambiences.
False Dawn sets the tone to an album which exploits marvellously the soft rhythms and atmospheres which are astride paranoia and cerebral acuteness. After an intro molded in cosmic breaths, of which the run-ups are forging some floating hoops, the rhythm spreads its ambient canvas with fine pulsations which beat soberly in an electronic atmosphere. Castanets resound in glass while that some arpeggios, fragile of their ringings, roam such as singings of cicadas under the stars of the Alpha Centauri. The rhythm is getting more insistent. Weighing down the pace, it becomes a semi heavy down-tempo where the bass line pounds of its throbbing chords. The arpeggios go out of their wandering, ringing of a lunar approach on a structure which brings together little by little its harmonious and sonic elements to establish the skeleton of [ELSEWHERE] which will peel its 12 tracks on structures of rhythms on which the fine variances cajole more the listener than overexcite him. Contrary to its title, Elephants is quite delicate. Cymbals flicker in the middle of hands slamming while that a quite simplistic melody in its minimalist device is charming the hearing like a beautiful earworm. The structure isn't really different from False Dawn. Everything is in subtlety; the rhythm which gets loose from its initial skin to accelerate a little the pace, the cosmic broth which develops its vaporous plans with fine nuances in tones, the choirs that we lose in abstruse winds and the paranoiacs' whispers decorate a structure that we find again, without really being bored there, throughout the 73 minutes of this album. After a slow psybient departure, Incompressible Flow kisses the structure of a soft morphic down-tempo where are dawdling beautiful chords of an e-piano. The percussions are heavy. They and forge a slow and knocking out rhythm which resounds such as a gunshot in emptiness. This delicate piano finds again its harmonious shape on Ominous Ride which swirls slowly under its white noises, its cosmic rain and these choirs of which the sighs shape the penitentiary hoops of [ELSEWHERE]. Because of its structure of indefinable rhythm, Human Theory is the most complex track of this first opus of the Greek sound sculptor on Ultimae. The rhythm lives through a plethora of percussions and pulsations of which the ill-assorted tones shape the walking of spiders to uneven legs. The lines of synth spit a convoluted harmonious poison, a little as breaths of spectres connected on a Théramin short of breath, while this pattern of melancholic piano resurfaces, nuancing its notes but not its gloom. After an intro blown in the sighs and sound hoops from the Milky Way, Abismo 2.0 offers a heavier rhythm hammered by punitive percussions. And every blow goes into the ear while the rhythm is running like waves of noises under the aegis of astral choruses. A rhythm which, shameful of its heavy fury, welcomes a soft melody which sings of its uneven chords.
Skipping on the metallic elytrons of a rhythm which roams between its swiftness and its lack of liveliness, Song of the Burning Mountain gives itself to another good down-tempo decorated with a collage of tones and with vampiric harmonies which sound very recurring all over [ELSEWHERE]. Except that here, the cymbals tear literally the hearing. Purity is another interesting track which survives to another ambient and cosmic intro. The rhythm flutters around on its typist's strikings and its neurotic flow. The whole reminds me a little Prodigy, but the comparison stops there. If the rhythm is more incisive, it remains under the threshold of a good mid-tempo which beats through its ambiospherical phases. The lines of synth forge these soft fragments of harmonies which go and come, under diverse vampiric forms, throughout the envelopes of cosmic melodies which roam everywhere around this opus. A little like in the title-track where they hoot such as souls lost on a rhythm which splits up its knocks, which subdivides their echoes in order to give it a curve without equal. A line of rhythm where the sequences jostle and meet strikings of percussions, embroidering a pace as heavy as incisive. This is, by far, the best track of the album. Magnificient Desolation is not bad either and it wears splendidly his title. It's a beautiful lunar ballad with a rhythm as absent as its strikings of percussions and its soft pulsations. A superb veil of blackness, molded in a meshing of choirs and astral synth waves, envelops this ambient rhythm which little by little breathes of its solitude on a beautiful lunar and very ethereal down-tempo. Nascency is quite a great track which breathes of its symmetric pulsations, its murmured hoops and which shines by its synth lines floating over a universe of forbidden rhythms. It's heavy, sensual and a bit Motown, in particular with these orchestral mists which feed a lecherous appetite. Isolated in its solitude, Time or Place is a gloomy track where the piano melts the ice of our entrails to let it the tears pour. A beautiful way for Miktek to say goodbye, but especially another skillful way of decorating a down-tempo which is not a really one.
More sober than a great majority of the works that I heard up to here on the Ultimae Records label, [ELSEWHERE] remains not less very beautiful, very musical. Mihalis Aikaterinis develops its new vision of the down-tempos by sprinkling to his minimalist rhythms of some fine nuances which every time bursts of an unsuspected flavor. Oniric, poetic, sensual and sybarite Miktek shows as much sensibility as boldness on 12 structures which dance, float and stroll with cosmos and where even his glaucous ambiences are upholster with sighs and angels' drizzle. As for me, it's the ideal album to let us be bewitched by the soft psychedelic call from the ambient rhythms' coat of arms. When the esotericism is dancing, it gives [ELSEWHERE] from Miktek.
Sylvain Lupari (June 11th, 2013) ***½**
Available at Ultimae Records Bandcamp