Boomkat Product Review:
Incredible kaleidoscopic/psychedelic synth works by Novo Line, inspired by Japanese Butoh, Gurdjieff’s proto-psych, and ancient Pythagorean tunings and highly recommended if yr into Depeche Mode, Paul DeMarinis, Autechre, Art of Noise, NYZ...
Under a title adapted from Huxley’s pivotal tome on C.20th psychedelia and mind-expansion, on ‘Doors of Proprioception - Articulation’ Novo Line shifts his interests from the noirish, filmic fixations of his ‘Autobahn Zwei’ and ‘To Qatsi And Die In LA’ tapes, to a more profound expression of ideas about “meta-cognition” and awareness of the body’s movement and position within space. The project crucially features research input from artist and yogi, Mathilde Fenoll, and Hélène Tharrault, a yoga teacher and acrobat, who both helped firm up the album’s overlapping interests in mind-body-spirit syncopation, with Mathilde’s voice also appearing as a sampler-mangled mantra, while the pair also plan contribute to the project’s performance iterations in the post-lockdown world.
The two pieces serve to conceptually resonate with, and deepen Novo Line’s references to ancient, Pythagorean tunings, as found on his breakthrough side ‘Movements’ (2016) and its follow-up ‘Dyad’ (2017), but switch their aesthetic touchstones from Belgian and German New Beat to a finer elision of Japanese Butoh’s slow, brutal elegance, with the contoured gradients of ’80s synth soundtracks and New Age ambient. In effect, these references lend a looser conception of meter and space to the music, practically manifesting its impetus to mindfully heighten and align the listener’s kinaesthetic awareness and “observe the appropriate balance of tensing and relaxing” as suggested by Butoh expert, Vangeline in their book ‘BUTOH: Cradling Empty Space’.
Most vitally, in the mesmerising style of all Novo Line’s work, and for all its lofty references, this is music that will be felt in your bones and is bound to perplex the mind with its deeply insightful application of ancient, affective tunings known to stimulate altered states of consciousness. In other words it’s a proper Aerobic Mystics special, blessed with Novo Line’s patented blend of absorbing esoteric nuance and a pop-wise appeal.