How do you know you've got a substantial recording on your hands? When, like digging deeper into a mine that yields undiscovered veins of precious gems, further listening experiences reveal vast, heretofore richer textural sinew. Chrysakis's extensive catalog, working the miens of electroacoustic improvisation and experimental sound design, is well-established, but even those familiar with his work and that of his Aural Terrains imprint will find Equinox to be both a departure of sorts and that rare creature, a genuinely indescribable foray into category-adverse electronic music that has few parallels, and even fewer analogs, to artists either past or present.
What is integral to capturing the thrill of electronic-based composition and execution is a keen grasp of fundamental materials: knowing the capabilities of your gear, maintaining a clarity and depth of vision, letting your imagination run rampant, and, well, enjoying the hell out of realizing sounds, noises, events, and occurrences that have yet to brush up against either cochlea or temporal lobe. It's almost foolhardy to exact any kind of broad analysis of what Chrysakis has wrought here; sometimes it's simply best to just let his art flow over you. Those rich veins aching for discovery throughout Equinox spool across all manners of emotional and colorative bandwidth. Opening track "Geomancy", with its index of metals, trilling bell-chimes, and mysterious chambers of squeaked and stretched tones, manages to coax a hallucinatory atmosphere filled with both sepulchral dread and incantatory fancy. "Seagazers" holds a mirror up to some of the 1990s more coarse and elusive purveyors of similarly scoured noise, the aspect ratios of Fennesz and Vainio raging against the dying of the light. "Radar Horizon" charts a number of alien topographies that ring familiar but remain elusive, as tremorous bass pulses underscore a gathering of marauding insects intent on obscuring the stereo field — it's a bracing track that in microcosm highlights the superb manual dexterity Chrysakis employs, as myriad sounds crash together, blossom, and explode outward once again.
It's obvious that Chrysakis has a not only a fine ear for detail, but a distinct respect and love for electronic music's rich history, both the obvious & more obscure: a track like "Frozen Forest" seeks to resurrect and genetically fuse Clara Mondshine, Terry Riley, and Pierre Henry, a surplus of ever-replicating icy tones that establish a vivid riot of red. Chrysakis's gift for sonic turns-of-phrase is only matched by his way with titles: the hypnotic drone-gaze of "Homing Pigeon" is only partially eclipsed by the closing grey-flecked digital hum and nuanced, post-Eno fibrillations of "Vermilion Zone". It's all utterly captivating, gripping stuff, a near-masterpiece of unbridled invention that virtually mandates you return to again and again.
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