Saturday, 25 January 2020

Split Frequencies Vol. II - Akoustik Timbre Frekuency/Temple Music.

Album: Split Frequencies Vol. II
Artist: Akoustik Timbre Frekuency/Temple Music
Catalogue no: SomSon 145

     1.      Akoustik Timbre Frekuency – Atu XV: Thee Devil (Tiphaereth to Hod)
     2.      Temple Music – Ships/Arc

This most recent release from the prolific Sombre Soniks label is the second in the new series of splits showcasing two acts per release (I reviewed the first volume, featuring Embers Below Zero/Grist, at the end of last year). Volume II features Priapus 23’s Akoustik Timbre Frekuency backed by Alan Trench’s Temple Music. Along the same lines to the first, it contains two long-form tracks, about a half hour in length, thematically and atmospherically linked, and which also serve as a kind of an appetiser to encourage further explorations of their individual outputs. And my advice is to just sit back, wrap some headphones around your head, and let your pleasure centres and every cell in your body absorb the frequencies until you become diffuse matter.

ATF’s ‘Atu X: Thee Devil (Tiphaereth to Hod)’ gets on with it straightaway, opening with deep drones and resonant vibrations, meant to connect perhaps with the part of our brains that bypass the consensus reality we’re all subject to and instead injects us into an alternate existence where everything is possible, and where all angles converge. Atu XV: Thee Devil refers, of course, to the fifteenth card of the tarot’s major arcana, a card which strikes fear into many – however, it doesn’t necessarily mean death as it can also mean change (as in death of the old to make way for the new). The subtitle Tiphaereth to Hod is a reference to the kabbalistic Tree of Life, Tiphaereth being the sixth sephira that represents Balance, Integration, and Compassion amongst other attributes. Hod is the eighth sephira, having the attributes of Majesty Glory, and Splendour. The journey being described here is a descending one, possibly going through Netzach, the seventh sphere of Endurance and Patience, a descent from balance into the very earthly attributes of majesty and glory. It’s quite possible, then, that this track is in essence a travelogue, a diary if you like of the aspirant’s/adherent’s metaphysical travels whilst descending the Tree of Life: certainly, as the track progresses the sounds become denser and more layered, as well more resonant and noisier. Looked at from that angle, it becomes clear that we are climbing back down the rungs of the ladder that is the Tree of Life, from a higher more tenuous sphere into one of greater density and more materiality.

‘Ships/Arc’ is a different beast altogether, coming on like an early 70s psychedelic freakbeat workout with twangy bass and organ before more sonorous keyboard drones take over alongside crackles and reverberant background punctuations. Compared to ATF’s opener this begins from an earthbound viewpoint and gently takes flight to catch the thermals and soar above the banalities of material existence. It is at once majestic and plaintive, looking below and reaching up simultaneously, a feeling of both attachment and a longing to be free of unnecessary constraints or the encumbrances of gravity. A strain of melancholic whistling weaves itself above, through, and below the main drones, like a bird dancing amongst the clouds, flitting and flirting with the warm draughts and currents of air. Above is a clear sky, unmarked by any imperfection but, just like here on earth, it is forever unreachable. And, just like birds in this existence, we are drawn back to where we lifted off from, letting gravity take hold once more, and bringing us back to banality. However, unlike the material body, hope and promises aren’t subject to the same forces we are, and they continue soaring into the sky and beyond, catching and floating on currents we can never hope to ride.

Here we have perfect mirrors – one tending towards darkness and earthiness, and the other skywards. One is a reflection of the other, images and feelings that couldn’t exist without their opposites. Perhaps these two tracks are about balance then, about the need for it in a universe rife with plurality – it is in fact a cosmological imperative. Given the current imbalance of earthly life, this could be a warning perhaps, a reminder that without thiss much-needed balance then we are bound to invite our doom. Even knowing our negative propensities as a species, perhaps someone somewhere will listen to this and see the light switch on and receive epiphany. This release contains those depths and nuances aplenty, and they are open to those who will lend an ear.

Available as a digital download from the link below:

Psymon Marshall - 2020.

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