Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Aperus — Lie Symmetry
(Geophonic geocd04g, 2018, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-08-03
One might be forgiven for not knowing about Aperus, which is the musical project of New Mexico based composer and photographer Brian McWilliams (and do check out the outstanding photography on his website, it seems he is truly gifted in more than one field). At any rate, in the last 20 or so years, he has only four releases under the moniker Aperus, one of which is a collaboration, and also three releases with Remanence, a duo with John Phipps. The eight pieces on Lie Symmetry are best described as fluid ambient creations that blend analog synth drones, working in multiple layers of sound, following dark and mysterious paths, colorful at times, pale at others, along with processed sound samples seeming to be both organic and industrial in origin, sometimes looped into irregular rhythmic patterns. This is not your standard floating ambient sound, nor anything that could be considered pretty; one might use terms like explorative and experimental to describe what’s going down here, and most definitely captivating and interesting. As a kid I remember a water tunnel that used to go deep under an eight-lane freeway, and from a point midway between the two ends one could hear sounds like this, echoes from a train track on the opposite side, the trickle of water passing through, or the deep rumble of cars and trucks as they passed overhead. The sounds would take shape but they were never what they seemed to be, bouncing off the ribbed walls of the culvert deep underground, or off the stone walls of the old tunnel that existed before the freeway – the only thing missing were the synth drones, but those were easy enough to imagine. Some of the cuts here feature metallic sounds that seem like the sound of some heavy object hitting the outside of an empty cistern, as heard from the inside, with occasional deep pulses punctuating the sonic strata. There are many other sounds that are captured herewithin, but (besides the synth washes and drones) nothing that resembles any kind of traditional acoustic or electric instrumentation, and that makes it extremely compelling and interesting all the way through. At times I am reminded of the approach used by Russian composer Artemiy Artemiev on his third release Point of Intersection, or his collaboration with Phillip B. Klingler Dreams in Moving Space. This is a very textural ambient approach with a lot of interesting and curious sonic events that will hold the listener’s interest and not put you to sleep. Play it in an endless repeat loop.
Related artist(s): Aperus
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