Boomkat Product Review:
One of NYC’s most curious, fwd mutants Nik Dawson aka Bookworms weaves ancestral rhythms and tempered modular tonalities to express his feelings for Documenting Sound. It’s an Escher-like labyrinth of torched sound design and bleary-eyed isolationist experiments that are both Psychedelic and complex but never impenetrable, digesting like an extended-release blotter for fans of Autechre at their most confounding, Terrence Dixon's mindbending sci-fi neural networks and Arca's melted elastic post-everything soundscraping.
Reporting from Queens, New York City; Bookworms states “In 2020 i was at a loss for words. So i recorded this tape,” and effectively renders his feelings over the course of an hour thru 16 tracks of knotted pulses grasping at the elusive - at once aching for a dance that’s outta reach, and with melodic lines of thought that come out in a flux of agitated blatz and more coolly collected realisations. Anyone who has followed Bookworms output for the past decade on the likes of L.I.E.S., Anòmia, and Bánh Mì Verlag will surely recognise his sound undergoing a prismatic metamorphosis into more asymmetric, offbeat, iridescent and ultimately more compelling designs that now resemble a mix of Actress-like dreamstates, up-to-the-second Autechrian dynamics, and the ancient futurism of Robert A.A. Lowe.
Bookworms invites us to peek into a four-dimensional diary of creativity, throwing peach-tinted light on unsettling drone sketches, mollified abstraction, collapsed FM photographs and marbled, sculpted noize. Each track sounds almost completely distinct from the next, but every moment is woven together by an insightful, giddy creative momentum. The re-animated skeletons of techno trip and tumble beneath Dawson's pan-celestial prophecies, throbbing and heaving but unshackled by latter-day gridded apathy. It's the Ursula K. Le Guin or Octavia E. Butler of abstract electronics, shepherding the mind thru sonic-spiritual forests, deserts and cityscapes with anxious intrigue, signing off with a knotted concentration of positively futurist energies in the shatterproof bone bender ‘A Visual Distortion 172mix.’
There's a poetry to Dawson's touch that makes this music more involving than so much contemporary electronic-experimental scribbling. At any moment it feels as if it could shatter into a million pieces or disappear into a terrifying, unspeakable nth dimension. We can't think of a more apt soundtrack for this rapidly-morphing, mind-muddling new era = properly soul in the machine material.