Fis :: The Blue Quicksand Is Going Now (Loopy)

A veneer of unkempt noise and disorder is attended by intimations of hyper-timbral detail and hermetic design.

Fis :: The Blue Quicksand Is Going Now (Loopy)

There’s definitely something in the water in Wellington on the evidence of The Blue Quicksand Is Going Now, a set of ‘sonic explorations made in glorious isolation’ whereon Fis gets his debut head from Loopy. Off the back of a series of D&B experiments (Duckdive (Samurai 2012), Commons (Exit 2012), Preparations, Iterations (Tri Angle 20132014), the Kiwi quester (Fis=’Forever in Search’ originally) shifts further out from D’n’B paradigm across scree and rumble, shimmer and crumble, M.I.A. rhythm and sound; more inchoate than incoherent, a veneer of unkempt noise and disorder is attended by intimations of hyper-timbral detail and hermetic design.

TBQIGN is not amenable to pinning down, whether auditorily or taxonomically. Electronic, but not techno nor ambient; experimental but not weirdy-beardy avant-garde or stochastic process school, it cuts across styles, genres and boundaries, with elements that are variously genre-allusive; un-quantized abstract compositions dissolving divides between D&B, techno and ambient, atomised into new vibrant sub-forms, leaving (dance) floor and (home listening) couch to posit an analog to Barthesian jouissance in the pleasure of the text. As others (boomers) have noted, it might be located in a convergence of trajectories at the extreme anterior of music—between academic computer music (Xenakis) and the more amorphous end of laptop-iary (early- (Autechre) and late-period (TCF)), ecstatic jazz (Alice Coltrane) and ecstatic post-rock (Jefre Cantu-Ledesma), between ambient noise (Tim Hecker) and power (Lawrence English). The title reflects something of the embodied nature of the listening experience—akin to wading through the eponymous sludge while being sucked in. The opener’s swingeing synth swathes cascade while a grinding cadence evacuates the center and frays the edges to a quick dissolve. Disembodied slivers of rhythmic signifiers are secreted throughout, as in “Social,” layers of audio-mulch strafed with percussive flotsam; elsewhere the synths blaze the trail, as on “Happy Alone”—a glinting slush of electronic gloop shot through with a warp and weft of fragmented melodic threads and caustic overtones. “Kal” heads towards the exit with huge quaking tectonic plate shifts in quasi-euphoria only for “Sternum Sanctum” to register a last blast with a withering psychedelic concrète mix.

Overall, with The Blue Quicksand Is Going Now, Olly Peryman strikes a balance, at once fine and fierce, between the meditative and disruptive, engaging and estranging, affecting and claustrophobic, Forever In Search of a sound ecology reflecting the complex dynamics of nature (see interview, Stray Landings) through audio-electronics.

The Blue Quicksand Is Going Now is available on Loopy (via bleepbeatportboomkat, juno)

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