Syl Kougai :: ΙΧΘΥΣ Extended (Hymen)

ΙΧΘΥΣ Extended exhibits the freneticism one equates with IDM /electronica.

Syl Kougai :: ΙΧΘΥΣ Extended (Hymen)

Syl Kougai’s ΙΧΘΥΣ Extended is a puzzler. Is it a re-release of his album ΙΧΘΥΣ (Schematic, 2015) Is it a companion to ΙΧΘΥΣ? Is it an EP? Is it a remix album? Is it a dessert topping? A floor wax? What is it?

Most of the songs clock in below 3:50 but are not pop ditties. They exhibit the freneticism one equates with IDM /electronica but quite honestly lack the staying power any song needs these days to retain a listener or repeat listening. Kougai’s technical skills are without question (his studio tweaking videos are must see viewing for anyone interested in electronic music let alone any electronic music artists). However despite his skills there is a certain cold sterility to the music on ΙΧΘΥΣ Extended as if it is waiting for someone to breath life into it. Certain tracks do stand out such as “Corvus [Janus Mix]” with its steady FM synth funk. “Picker Épiméthée” has a nice dark ambience about it. “Opale Tridymite” chugs along with a loping groove and some nice atmospherics, reminiscent of Autechre for sure.

But tracks like “Mars” with its meandering beats and melody, “Alpha Aigis” with its 200BPM workout underpinning vocoded voices, and “IXOY3 is out today” (which is literally just computer voices from an Apple computer saying “IXOY3 is out today” over and over and over) make you wonder if Kougai’s taking the piss, trying to show he has a sense of humor or is just trying to fill up space. In the absence of evidence to the contrary it remains unclear. ΙΧΘΥΣ Extended is a hesitant followup to the brilliance of ΙΧΘΥΣ. Use caution when listening.

ΙΧΘΥΣ Extended is available on Hymen. [CDDigital]

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