Boomkat Product Review:
Akira Rabelais revels in confusion and introspection through a bizarre, brilliant, hour-long transition from shredded rap to room recordings, spoken word and solemn ambient stasis, recorded at home in Chicago for our Documenting Sound series and throwing us through a hyperreal wormhole.
Rabelais’ Argeïphontes Lyre software (also used by Terre Thaemlitz, Biosphere and others) has long created an elevated sense of mystery to much of his work - from his incredible re-contextualisation of Hildegard von Bingen’s 12th century mysticism on Spellewauerynsherde, to a classic re-imagining of Harold Budd’s ‘Avalon Sutra’ commissioned by David Sylvian for his Samadhisound label back in 2004. For ‘Context In The Moment’, however, the mood is altogether more humid and slippery.
Initially erupting in fractal rash of grime, rap, club and soul cuts that sound like browser tabs bleeding into one, the mood soon settles into a more curious, cryptically unsettling vibe with wafts of piano drifting up from the street haze into an audiobook reading of Borges’ magic realist classic The Library of Babel intermingling with sounds wafting into Rabelais’ world; life, slowed down.
The b-side is an altogether different beast, throwing us into the Hollywood Hills, all under-the-surface tension and barely-there atmospherics in a simmering, Lynchian vein that could also be a Burial piece slowed 900% with its scattered, sleepy strings and dispossessed strums. The outside world ceases to exist, instead the gaze turns inwards; transfixed on stillness and the sudden flash of the unknown.
No doubt about it, 2020 has produced the strangest vintage.