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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Polypores Multizonal Mindscramble (2023)

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

An album filled to the brim with those finesses and subtleties that bind audacity and musicality

1 The Dream Incubator 3:30

2 Foam 3:01

3 Machine Elves 5:58

4 Can Non-Player Characters Experience Love? 2:58

5 Diverging Reality Tunnels 3:29

6 Retrocausal 3:05

7 Hyperdata 0:59

8 Until You Observe It, It Isn't There 4:30

9 Compute Gnosis 2:56

10 Hexagram 3:18

11 Strangels 4:04

12 The Green-Screen Beneath It All 2:09

13 Adventures in The Super-Spectrum 2:59

14 Butterflies 1:08

(Limited Edition 180g Vinyl & CD DDL 44:02) (V.F.)

(Psybient Modular Ambient)

I like the way DiN, or Ian Boddy as the case may be, goes about outlining this second Polypores album. If you enjoyed Hyperincandescent, there's no reason why you shouldn't with MULTIZONAL MINDSCRAMBLE. Playing on the multiple zones of mental stability, Stephen James Buckley paints in sounds and music a universe where the balance between the two poles of this stability is as fragile as the flight of a hummingbird in a storm of electronic winds. Always in search of the absolute in the art of the modular and its multiple zones of creativity, Polypores redefines its field of sonic exploration by adding organic prisms, batrachians as well as insectoids, to a sonic canvas always filled with psychotronic chirps, kaleidoscopic waves and synth lines that unravel and rebuilt themselves in ectoplasmic, intergalactic symphonies on an album split somewhat like Hyperincandescent, be 2 long structures where the doors of our imagination surfed to the whim of Stephen James Buckley's dimensions. The result is an album that's still a little difficult to access, but this time with more melodious spans, thanks in particular to the beautiful synth solos, over more convincing rhythms that even flirt with the England School, if not the Berlin School. Diverging Reality Tunnels comes to mind.

The Dream Incubator puts us straight into the moods, with interference that has the texture of extraterrestrial dialogue. Our ears are plunged into a cosmic universe with its inherent noises, while the range of the interference is amplified by a multiplication of Hertzian waves created by echo effects that spread out in linear loops. These waves roar and entwine in a noisy ballet of misshapen oscillations, while being solidified by a bass shadow that crawls behind this strange electronic elocution, creating an ambient rhythm that rolls in symbiosis with the multiplication of Martian and Hertzian codes. The organic noises that form towards the ending lead into the opening of Foam. The rule of language takes a Batrachian form, with organic clattering effects fizzing over synth strings that radiate an almost musical hum. Some of the elements here link me to that astonishing symphony of Solar Fields' parallel universe in Until We Meet the Sky. We have to wait until Machine Elves to get an ounce of rhythm between our ears. A sequenced bass line gallops and trots in unison, and in symbiosis with the synth that excites a melody whose loops follow the chaotic shape of the rhythm. Another, more linear rhythm structure creeps into the movement, giving Machine Elves a more spasmodic texture. The solos are melodious and at the same time radiate a field of magnetic resonance, filled with ghostly noises and other sound effects from the world of video games. The final rhythmic spasm wears out its spheroidal effects in the opening of Can Non-Player Characters Experience Love? Another atmospheric track which is rich in multiple effects, loops and modular synth lines that contort like eddies and pulsating sound refluxes. It depicts the nervousness of invisible acrobats whose contours are reflected in the pulsating figures that are worthy of the finest audacities of an artificial intelligence's spirograph. Behind contortionist waves and the multiple arias that flow from them, Diverging Reality Tunnels offers a good Berlin School. We're swimming in the psychotronic years with these waves, which sometimes feel like they've got a big mouth of terrifying specter, masking a rhythmic structure whose discreet organic membrane adds even more to its charm. In a ballet of jellyfish and musical octopuses playing the clarinet or flapping their suction cups, Retrocausal proposes some pretty nice Vangelis-style harmonies in the airs of its synthesizer.

Hyperdata kicks off the second, and more rhythmic part, of MULTIZONAL MINDSCRAMBLE with a stormy zone of dusty, drizzly winds. These boisterous atmospheres lead into the static yet spasmodic rhythm of Until You Observe It, It Isn't There. Sequenced bass keys jump asymmetrically with a good ratchet effect in its flow. Cadenced chords and other effects accompany this rhythm, which serves as a tarmac for an invasion of synth aerial airs that combine the beauty of a nightingale with the lightness of a sugar-laden hummingbird. The form and harmonies flirt with both psybient and slightly creepier music. Even ghostly! Dressed in its many variations of intonation, Compute Gnosis is the heaviest track on Polypores' second album. Its flow may be brisk, but its structure is ponderous with sequences that jump around in a repetitive pattern that is harmony with the ectoplasmic chants of the synths and the pulsating rhythm of the synth-keyboard. Hexagram offers a more atmospheric texture, with synth lines cooing in loops over a synth wave fills with drones and glass clinking. The intonation in this wave is its richness. And as with all 44 minutes of this album, these waves and/or synth lines are as artistic as they are acrobatic, subdividing their tonalities between musicality and experimentation in their bipolar harmonic textures. Strangels picks up on the themes of The Dream Incubator, with synth waves that resemble a form of extraterrestrial language. The only difference is that some waves are more poignant and moving than others. As if it was possible that some specters have the capacity to moved us. It's a bit the same phenomenon with Butterflies, which closes this album. But before that, there's The Green-Screen Beneath It All, a beautiful ambient track. A more musical track also with lyrical flights over a musical texture joined by jerky effects. Adventures in The Super-Spectrum follows with a bouncy rhythm that anchors staccato orchestrations and a synth that multiplies solos and harmonies in a creative context based on a form of artistic bipolarity vision.

MULTIZONAL MINDSCRAMBLE can be tamed with headphones, the ears on the alert, to absorb the full tonal dimension of a protean and a colorful work, more sepia-toned here than on Polypores' first opus. The rhythms are creative and catchy, with a rubbery quality unique to the modular synth possibilities. Stephen James Buckley's organic tones and synth solos add a deeper dimension to his music and textures. In short, an album filled to the brim with the finesse and subtlety that bind audacity and musicality!

Sylvain Lupari (September 10th, 2023) ****½*

Available at DiN Records

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

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