An absolute must not just for fans of techno but for electronic music enthusiasts of any pedigree.
Almost nothing is publicly known about the techno producer styling himself as Vril, whose second full length album Portal is Delsin’s inaugural release of 2015. There are a few scattered and blurry photos, but no name, no origin story, only vague assumptions of German origin. Even after the release of his excellent debut album Torus last year after a string of very promising EP’s, no further descriptions or elaborations surfaced. This same manner of nebulous mysteriousness is present in Portal—the tracks themselves do not even bear traditional names, but are simply enumerated as portals one through eight. Exposition, both musically and otherwise, is kept to an absolute minimum.
But where do these eight portals lead? What alien landscapes and inconceivable dimensions can be glimpsed through their murky windows? The most ready answer is that they are openings into the most inhospitable corners of our humble spiral galaxy. “Portal 1” evokes the intense pressures of the abyssal plain or the hydrocarbon lakes of Titan, deep oceans of liquid utterly devoid of light where unknown leviathans are certain to brood. “Portal 3” begins with the white noise rocket blast of takeoff, then punches through the upper atmosphere to finally slip the bonds of gravity to interplanetary space as the stars and fading earth can finally be glimpsed from vision ports with complete clarity. “Portal 4” opens to the insane temperatures of stellar plasma, where the electrons of ionized gas roil and bubble freely in the heat of the photosphere. As for “Portal 6”…this one is perhaps best left unexplored, for now. There are no doubt some eldritch reaches of space mankind is not yet properly equipped to explore or understand without inviting incurable madness.
Science fiction aside, it needs to be stated plainly that this release is heavy. In contrast to the more groove-centered atmosphere of his earlier releases, Portal tends to achieve its realization through the art of the bludgeon. This is not at all to say that it lacks nuance—aside from the reality that of all the releases of 2015 thus far this is the one I find myself listening to again and again—the very fact that such anecdotes can be attached to these tracks speaks volumes about the inherent depth of this album. This long player is an absolute must not just for fans of techno but for electronic music enthusiasts of any pedigree.
Portal is available on Delsin.