TONE SCIENCE MODULE: No.5 Integers and Quotients (2021)
Updated: May 2
“There are geniuses in this album who are able to connect our eyes to their music”
1 Incantation (Hélène Vogelsinger) 6:27
2 Iterations (Raffael Seyfried) 6:07
3 Waving and Drowning (Stephan Whitlan) 6:46
4 Cuckoo (Johnny Woods) 6:41
5 Clocks, Unravelling (Polypores) 6:45
6 Electronic Study #26 (Lisa Bella Donna) 8:52
7 Delusion (Matths) 6:30
8 The Zanti Misfits (Chuck van Zyl) 7:03
9 Delicate Elementum (Philippe Petit) 6:40
DiN TS05 (Out on May 7th)
(CD/DDL 62:11) (V.F.)
(Analog Modular Art for Ears)
Incantation comes from afar! Its distant breath accosts our ears with shimmering effects drawn in keyboard riffs. A ghostly shadow whispers a hooking melody while the riffs are structured in aggressive and repetitive loops. The bass line is monstrous in this title of Hélène Vogelsinger. It extends its hold which receives the texture of looped riffs that is not really far from Clara Mondshine's vocal effects. If I found No. 4 Form and Function difficult to digest, this No.5 INTEGERS AND QUOTIENTS is just next door! Ian Boddy continues to democratize the art of the modular with another compilation of even more daring emerging artists. He blows hot and cold with a fabulous split between complexity and ease. As much as there are tricks that require a little more patience, there are other tricks that catch us at the first attempt. This perfect balance supports the curiosity of discovery that can be done at the risk of our ears. But don't worry, what you'll find horrible on the first listen has the potential to be discovered with a new face while you push your experience of discovering the below of No.5 INTEGERS AND QUOTIENTS.
Iterations is one of the few tracks that seduces from the start. The notes of a nostalgic piano fall, as if abandoned by the pianist, in a universe of noise and static. They dance and twirl in the roundness of a double bass, creating this unexpected slow dance under a sky darkened by these strange noises and the telegraphy code disputes that become more and more nervous. Do I hear synth-guitar tears wailing in this canvas of devastation? Still, the track takes a livelier tangent with a rhythm running continuously towards a road to freedom. A superb track by Raffael Seyfried with good arrangements and an optimistic cinematic vision. Waving and Drowning brings us into the universe without tenderness of Stephan Whitlan. A cosmic wind and its stars are sucked into a huge black hole that struggles to contain its immense waves of woosshh. This black hole has a transparent tubular shape where we witness the mutation of sounds and a first dialogue with an entity as evasive as these filiform lines filled with wiiissshhh. In short, a vague title where the sounds and flattened pulsations converge in an intense finale of its tonal template. This is the kind of track that my friends and neighbors don't understand! I fell in love with Johnny Woods' excellent album Pavilions, released last summer. Cuckoo is in the same genre with an oscillating wave and its harmonious fluctuations where the excessive beat of a clatter is lost. The movement is very Teutonic in its vision, but not in its rhythmic level. Synth pads connect by saying mouan, while other phonic elements focus on creating a web where each new element brings its shadow to dance tirelessly around Cuckoo. I hung on without difficulty to this huge mosaic where a fade-out remains the only option.
I've heard a lot of great things about Polypores, and Clocks, Unravelling only confirms my eagerness to discover this painter from Preston, England. The flow is as hyperactive as Cuckoo but with delicious jerks and slowdowns on the fractured flow of a rhythm built on diodes with desynchronized and arrhythmic current. Lisa Bella Donna is another artist of whom we say only good things. She has the longest track on No.5 INTEGERS AND QUOTIENTS. Electronic Study #26 is a track with prismatic ambiences with ectoplasmic vocals over an atonal structure. An eerie humming insinuates itself with the radiation of a bass without harmonies until reaching a phase of violence, scribbling waves and sound graffiti that annoyed me for a good 90 seconds. Let's just say that it's in the middle of the track that a second listening becomes a reviewer's job and not a music lover's pleasure! At this point in the album, Delusion comes at the right time. Matths manages to recreate the sounds of a train, still a bit psychedelic, in an EDM structure. This first sustained beat here is as catchy as lively and supports a splendid melody pushed from the tip of our lips. The second half, which follows a bridge of ambiences, offers us an electronic rock bend with big and shiny effects of the modular. A beautiful bomb which is followed by a very cheerful track of Chuck van Zyl. The Zanti Misfits is a dance of the sequencer whose curves and variations attract a bass line in rhythmic corridors as ambient one to end by pouring in a final whose arrangements give a surreal tint to the second part of The Zanti Misfits. Philippe Petit joins the pool of artists with more complex sound orientations. Flirting on a razor's edge, Delicate Elementum moves from cosmic reverie to the suffering of the waves with the same ease as saying hat! It's a track that at times is annoying, while at other times what is annoying is charming. So, a title that we will appreciate a little more, especially with the numerous videos that show how this modular EM is made.
There are geniuses in this album who are able to connect our eyes to their music! And that's the best thing about the art of modular; the ability to believe in the incredible. For my part, I found that No.5 INTEGERS AND QUOTIENTS proposes a nice balance in rhythm, in melody and in the unexplainable.
Sylvain Lupari (01/05/21) ****½*
Available at DiN Records