“Prophet”, “visionary”; “maven”, “auteur”: when it comes to descriptions of the renowned, Brian Transeau’s likely heard them all. Engineer of ‘IMA’, ‘ESCM’, ‘Movement In Still Life’ and others – his discography is lined with albums that qualify amongst electronic music’s most seminal. Now, in a continuance of his more experimental/theoretical releases, BT has crafted a spiritual successor to works like 2006’s ‘This Binary Universe’ and ‘If The Stars Were Eternal’ (2012).
Filmic, thematic, dramatic? You’d expect nothing less from this release. Asymmetric, anti-algorhythmic and, by design, hard to predict? Likewise, without a doubt. With a trace of Future Sound of London and an evident edge of John Cage, it’s assembled, classically, into 6 tracks, bridged by 3 Movements. It’s also a musical composition in the truest sense of the expression.
Linking the album’s tracks are its ‘Artifacture’, ‘Indivism’ & ‘Ω’ Movements; BT’s modernist take on the classical composition structure. Sonically, each is a minor work of art in itself. Collectively however they make up a 25 section sequence of (as BT defines them) “inter-compositional-themes”), creating 45 minutes of constantly flowing, ever-developing tonality.
BT’s album is, as ever, impelled as much by advancements in technology & technique, as it is mood, emotion & inclination. Alongside its more discernible breakthroughs, are far less perceptible and more complex ones. Deep within its cortex, innovative techniques and (per BT) “insane” amounts of new sound design modalities come in to play – all atomically micro-crafting its extraordinary universe.
This is an album that works on two significantly different levels. The first, as a dazzlingly, thrilling end-to-end sound-array / feat of technological accomplishment. The other, as a multimedia enigma – an armchair Easter egg hunt, or sonic crossword, where each listen brings new levels of interpretation, enjoyment and appreciation.
Whichever way you choose to absorb it, one thing’s for certain: BT – that arch guardian of the avant-garde, has delivered again.