033186 by Alecsi

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Alecsi | 033186
Hotham Sound (CS/DL)

Vancouver artist and composer Alecsi‘s (Alexi Baris) 033186 is the 10th tape release from British Columbian imprint Hotham Sound whose been around since 2015. From the ridiculous cherry ‘trees’ made from stalks of broccoli on its cover, you know you are in for something from an alternate reality (which seems popular these days). With seven tracks to flip through this opens with the curious The Languid Loon. With a blend of watery effects and gaming bleeps the setting is swampy, crossing between disparate scapes. As he says this recording “is the first of a series of synthetic microbial soundscapes by way of electronic processes“. The cassette is limited to 50 copies, professionally duplicated on Super Ferro grade tape – and sound super crisp from this evocative opening point.

The sound is somewhere between ambient and experimental electronics however Alesci employs a series of sweet melodies below the surface of soaring synths and melancholic phrasing as featured of Baptism. It’s a fluid piece that uses organ-like modulation and slow-motion to unfurl on its own accord. It plays like an exploration between artifice and the natural world – but stays calm and collected.

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On Pertaining to Our Nature electronic bird chirp sharply, and for a moment I think about all the endangered species we hear about in science journals. An virtual version is strangely pleasant, but a distinctly different beast altogether. The blurpy irregularities, shifting tones and tapelooping on Knew is quirky, and the synths are a mirage of violins. This is a third cousin of woozy and Moog-y 70s German electronica, so much so that my ears are drawn deeply into its introverted atmosphere. This rolls into Pacific Sails, which glows as it’s poised like stalactites hanging ominously above, dripping with moisture in an echoing cave.

You may get the occasional chill while this plays out, but it’s more refreshing than anything else. Chlorophyll is a bright work that gives you the essence of odd creatures and flora found in the universe of Star Trek (the OG). The tactile surfaces are scratched and manipulated as if samples are being tested for lab experiments. The spirit of surveillance is in the air, and Alecsi’s mix of layers is inventive and spunky. The cursive closer, Tomorrow’s Terracotta, seems slightly reluctant in a moody, slow way. It reveals itself in short laps, like waves, over a gaseous drone and magical ‘tingly’ effects. This pensive conclusion is equivalent to being sedated, drifting off into the abyss.

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