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Elasticity *

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Performer Notes
  • As with his debut full-length Dream Ritual and his dozen or so EPs, anonymous techno artist A Sagittariun's second album Elasticity is an ambitious, cosmically minded work of vivid free-form electronic music. He seems to be overflowing with ideas and inspiration, and his tracks include plenty of reference points, from tough industrial beats to smooth '80s R&B keyboards to spacy Krautrock ambience (all of which appear on opening track "Architect of Your Existence"). His blippy acid techno synth lines and ticking drum-machine rhythms show reverence to early-'90s U.K. ambient techno as well as the Detroit scene that directly inspired it. Also like those eras of techno, he seems to have no regard for creating easily definable music constrained by categories. On "Chapter & Verse," we hear tumbling breakbeats and dub basslines that are a dead ringer for Meat Beat Manifesto, and tracks like "Slowdive" and "Telescopium" merge downtempo (but busy) drums with bubbling synth textures. Other tracks like "Quickness" have brisk, slightly wobbly uptempo electro beats. He rarely seems to settle on a standard 4/4 kick drum, preferring polyrhythms and non-straightforward drum patterns. Even when "Blim Burn" rides a galloping 4/4, it frequently lapses into more detailed percussive flourishes and distorted claps. The album includes several interludes featuring sampled inspirational words from the likes of Terence McKenna, Jesse Jackson, and Alan Watts. Elasticity's 78-minute running time can be daunting and exhausting, but A Sagittariun's abundance of creativity and positive energy is admirable, making the album a rewarding experience. ~ Paul Simpson
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