Alphaxone – Synthetic Vision / Kalpamantra
Back in April Alphaxone released Invisible on English netlabel Kalpamantra. It had some good points, but overall we felt it wasn’t the best piece of work from IX in his dark ambient guise. This, his follow-up, also on Kalpamantra, is on the face of it a whole lot stronger a body of work.
Presenting 8 tracks of slow grind, anti-beat drone Synthetic Vision is pretty damn good. Elements begins with subtle buzzing into a waning drone, underneath it a distant tundra wind is heard on the horizon and you captivated by the glowing greyscale edge further into it. Primary Genesis; the first breath of a silent scream.
On Above All, XI introduces distant chanting before a long drawn out shimmer of increasing height, this trails off at the tracks midway point with a second shimmer building from below from the nothingness. Below Atmos is like a post nuclear desert realm, at night naturally, with a wind chime caressed by the midnight breeze, ending with a realization and a question of the slow moving far off shape the disembodied spirit your form has taken has noticed. Turning Point is your meeting with this shape, spirit form to spirit form, a dialogue in drone.
In Transform, Synthetic Vision‘s penultimate track, the dark, a low growl like drift of sound converses with a growing and enlightening ray of opportunism and light. By the tracks end the dark seems almost overcome.
Synthetic Vision is arguably the darkest piece here, and fittingly, the endgame. The final piece. The darkness is back, taking control of the discourse, that silent scream is here in it’s bleak cold beauty.
XI might not have intended these themes within his music, this is just my opinion of what the sound feels like in my head. Describing such deeply cerebral sound such as this is always somewhat odd. Trying to explain the feelings and emotions I feel whilst being descriptive of what the structure of a track is difficult, without sounding contrived and using lot of big words most of us don’t know the definition of. Reading about music should be rewarding and supportive of the sounds not an exam in the English language. Ultimately music like this can be incredibly personal for both the artist and the listener when done right. I am really growing to love this album, I reckon any one of you who give it a listen will too.
One thing that stood out for me on Alphaxone’s last release, Invisible, was how much lighter in overall vibe and tone it was compared to his previous work. Synthetic Vision is approachable sure, but is much deeper down the cave. I also felt that some of the tracks on that last EP were too short. You didn’t get lost in them for long enough. Synthetic Vision has longer tracks, Transform at 8 minutes and 31 seconds the longest on offer with Primary Genesis the shortest at 5 and a half. It’s a subtle thing how much of a difference an extra minute or 3 can add to music of this style. The soundwaves need that extra length to gestate better.
As ultimately dark, this is afterall pitch black business, as this collection of work is, as sinister as it feels, like the strange ketamine fueled slow death it might feel like, this is supremely beautiful sound.
Alphaxone – Synthetic Vision
Alphaxone – Elements
Alphaxone – Primary Genesis
Alphaxone – Above All
Alphaxone – Below Atmos
Alphaxone – Turning Point
Alphaxone – Extended
Alphaxone – Transform
Alphaxone – Synthetic Vision