Monday, 2 January 2012
Review: Sundial Aeon - Mimesis
Holy shit! I've been thinking a lot recently that it was about time we had another album from Sundial Aeon, and when I checked up on Beatport today I find Mimesis, right on cue. And it's an absolute fucking banger as well. Their first album, 2006's Metabasis, was a psychill album that started out excellently and went off the boil slightly by the end. Then came Apotheosis which was a real leap forward in its integration of a variety of live instrumentation and compositional depth, while still remaining mostly in the chilled out end of the psychedelic spectrum.
Mimesis, on the other hand, is rocking. It starts out with a couple of big ambient introductory tracks that rack up the tension, letting you wonder if they're actually going to kick off with some big arrangements or whether they've gone off into more experimental, tuneless territory. Then in comes The Vortex Incident, which is slamming acid trance except only at 120bpm, and from there we're off. The tracks are a genre-defying melange of psychedelic atmospheres, driving trancey acid lines and thumping beats channelling '90s big beat and electronica, all at this weird 120bpm house tempo. I've honestly no idea what to call this. These ideas have been kicking around for a while, in the slow-mo psychedelic grooves of Asura tracks like Celestial Tendencies and the swaggering psy-dub influenced groovers that pop up on many psy albums, notably this year's Tropical Sunset by Artifact 303. But Sundial Aeon are really kicking it up a gear, not only in BPM counts but also in the switch to a more dancefloor-oriented mindset that the increased tempo entails. I would rave my face off to this album, even though it's way slower than the usual psychedelic dancefloor stuff.
And seriously, just about every track is a killer. I was a little bit worried about the opening, but those tracks actually cue up the rest of the record superbly. Every other track is solid gold as well, and they vary up and flow perfectly. The remix of Iced Melancholy Spectacle drops down into breaks, then Profundity Of Imagination trances it up again with some sparkly arpeggios. It works so well. This album excites me. It makes me want to go out and find more of this, now, and then make a mix out of it all. It is, quite simply, the shit, and out of absolutely nowhere is now my favourite thing from 2011.
Sundial have been one of my favourite producers from the psy scene for some time now, but they've not reached the same levels of respect or popularity as the likes of Solar Fields, Vibrasphere or Ott, when I think their music is every bit as good as anything these guys have put out. I don't like giving out top scores to things I've only heard once, because you need a few listens to see if an album really holds up to that kind of acclaim, but as soon as Mimesis finished I rewound it back and started listening again, and I honestly have not done that with any other new album I've heard in the last year.
Genre: Psychedelic no-fucking-clue
Stupid Arbitrary Rating: 9/10 (For now)