Agitated, dense and grappling, it’s easy to see how Holy Similaun’s music ended up on Aphex Twin’s decks. His release under the name “Paradoxes” contains all the main ingredients of Richard D. James’ less accessible works: it’s idiosyncratic, exhaustive and sophisticated. Under the motto “Who needs democracy when you have data” the Italian artist used a self-built MIDI sequencer and granular synthesis to create LP1, a sinister feast of gritty and accelerated sound design.
Deploying algorithmic sequencing as a backbone, this mysterious soundscape ends up surprisingly creative and intricate. Swiftly appearing and disappearing rhythms are applied as a sound effect, rather than a sonic undercurrent. Devoid of any physical resonance, their effect only grows in size. As they appear through the cracks of atmospheric, textured noise, an elusive sound palette is created that consists of divergently orchestrated yet gently coercive patterns. As bleak vocal samples intrude upon this industrial landscape, relatable elements are introduced. In this way we are left with the suggestion of a narrative – that of the mutability of the flesh, surrendered to an ominous mechanical progression that leaves its mark at the heart of LP1.
by Juliet Hoornaert
LP1 is out tomorrow on Prehistoric Silence.