Azurescens by Maps and Diagrams

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Maps and Diagrams | Azurescens
False Industries + Handstitched* (CD/CS/DL)

Tim Diagram (Tim Martin) and Yair Etziony collaborate on a release appearing on their own imprints (limited + numbered); Handstitched* and False Industries – the latest from Maps and Diagrams is Azurescens.  Once you dip your ears into this chilly production of hair-raising synths and strange goings-on it may be hard to escape it’s initial cosmic impact. The sound separation is a bit psychedelic and hypnotic right from the top and the luminous Chiba.

Normally I like a super-long run of this type of deep listening experience, but the way in which electricity is being conducted here does bode well in the track breaks, setting up varying degrees of sonic swelling. There’s a lot of intensity to the way the static and bass lows are being coordinated through the anesthetic vibe of Kubensis, and elsewhere. Between the static galvanism there are ambient junctures of serene repose, and also Tangerine Dream-esque excursus that seem lucid and a bit emotional (Spore; Bohemica). There are also dips into the fountain of say The Cocteau Twins or other like splinter bands of the high 4AD era.

Once the listener arrives upon Sola you will most definitely get a glimpse of an unabridged hybridization of industrial melancholia. With distant echoes of war plane sputtering atop a crispy warped vinyl hiss it’s a topsy-turvy world. Talk about atmospherics! But by the end the setting again transforms into this timeless deviation into faded vibrations, countering the gutsy taunt of the opening. There is a lot of smoke and mirrors here, but for all the effects, they are expertly woven into the finer interlocking patterns and flutters.

Shiro is an interesting short track here, filled with small grinding rotations and pixie dust. The underlying hollowed out drone pairs well with these peculiar lil’ gestures. The balance of high/low makes sense as this begins to cocoon. The transition to Odora is the best on the entire recording as mood-wise this puts you in a transitory place, quite embryonic actually. Gorgeous sense of floating away.

In the homestretch to this incredibly lengthy and satisfying listen comes Helvella, with a masked tribal strummed rhythm that just throbs. With that sensation comes this short-lived sense of impending doom. That is until the vibratory parting on Vesca leaves the blithe conclusion agape with rising ambient golden tones.

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