Arovane + Porya Hatami | C.H.R.O.N.O.S.
As this begins there are these curious conditions, as if a life support breathing machine is opposing this gentle bounce of a ping pong ball. The low-range is intense playing over a distant drone. German electronic sound artist Arovane + Iranian field recordist/experimenter Porya Hatami are an interesting pair that have been working in collaboration for the last half decade. Their combination of sounds blends mysterious lost melodies (prepared instruments?) alongside an atmospheric circumference that travels broadly. And here on pieces like Ellipsoid, Catenoid and Helicoid they seem to be delving into a deep cosmic place that sounds profoundly microscopic – though could easily be as vast as the universe, depends on your personal scope.
Their production is fluid, even silky, but manages not to be overly sweet as the tones are in retreat, at times only out along the very edges, with a salting of granular static from the tip of a needle on vinyl. There lays its distinct warmth. On Cycloid the listener is held in something of a dreamstate which sounds as if it crosses an electric barrier where tiny insects buzz through a scanner, being analyzed individually. At first it seems like a typical hazy Summer day, dusky, maybe a wisp of light drizzle in the air – but this causes you to imagine the great beyond. This counterbalance between the finite and the infinite is unique here.
My guess is any powerful work that delves beyond the human eye must be aided and abetted by the imagination (or incredibly expensive gadgetry usually tucked away for scientific use only) and these two manage to take us into a luminary space that is endless, edgeless, and a bit trippy (in the best way) to be honest. They use long, wavy cadences that ripple in darkness with these intermediate and minimal percussive elements that are like some kind of stippled overlay. The only time this breaks is on Helicoid where there are more watery sounds added under metallic breakers and a phasing scrim-like synth that is lowercase industrial wrapped in an ambient coating that is metamorphosizing right before your ears.
The foaming tones of Cissoid is the closer. A pleasant aerated and fuzzy work with broken percussive fragments that float in the background. It sounds like fish are flapping in a low pool of water at one point. The duo add all kinds of trickling echoes, convex/concave bits, and some mercurial disharmony to the otherwise hallucinogenic core of this with a calm sense of grace. A immersive work.