Boomkat Product Review:
Finnish Algoraver Joonas Siren disrupts sounds collected during his 2022 residency at Stockholm's EMS studio on 'Chimræras', bending alien digital rack synth sounds and modular belches into bizarre, garbled vignettes.
Housing a legendary Buchla 200 system and a huge Serge modular, the EMS is the place people visit to get a taste of real analog circuitry. And while Siren was intrigued by these systems, he was more interested in taking a closer look at the studio's collection of lesser-used digital modules, like Evolution Synthesis' EVS-1, the notorious Yamaha TX81Z, the Nord Wave and the Waldorf Microwave XT. He combines these peculiar, alien sounds with modular bleeps from EMS's better-known machines, fleshing out his sounds with SuperCollider vamps and an arsenal of VSTs, making sound that's neither fully digital or completely analog. In his own words, "an erratic trip through mismatched circuitry and digital codes."
As you might expect, this ain't easy listening. Siren hotwires his selection of instruments to make them scream like machines in pain, teasing out grating resonances on opening track 'Perspecta' and glitching rapid-fire sequences into bit-crushed mayhem on 'Rheinmetall'. 'Oshkosh' is a corrupted gasp of demonic robotic vocals, and 'Anzu' is a noisy throb of rhythms and oscillating alien squelches. Even when you think you know where a track's going to go, Siren inevitably drives it into chaotic abstraction, turning dubby textures into harsh noise on 'Sargon' and trance sequences into grotesque smudges on closing track 'Lilith'.