Boomkat Product Review:
The playfully warped spirit of ‘90s electronica lives on in upsammy’s organically harmonious constructions for PAN, upscaling the nimble melodic IDM of Aleksi Perälä, AFX and Matmos into lively, obsessively-tweaked impressions that harmonise with recent blips from Objekt or the Timedance crew.
In the three years since her last album ‘Zoom’, Thessa Torsing has applied studies in landscape architecture to her musical practice, considering the confounding makeup of the cities and towns that opened up around her since lockdown. Guided by the obscured architectural patterns that began to materialise around her, Thessa used a portable recorder to isolate glassy, airy flutters and metallic clanks that were subsequently contorted into an accelerated whirr of percussive elements. It's a method that reminds us of Matmos's early material (particularly their landmark Björk collaborations).
Like Aleksi Perälä's early run of Rephlex recordings as Astrobotnia and Ovuca, Torsing's compositions are dulcet, and rarely overworked. Her leads are memorable and charming, gently supported by additional instrumentation rather than destabilised by it. Opening track 'Being is a Stone' plays a crooked pitch-warped vocal (think ‘I Care Because You Do’) against downsampled synth chimes that shimmer into the horizon over carefully rickety beats. Torsing builds out a virtual cityscape using sound, representing the micro and macro-scale complexity of our global sprawl. Like a carefully documented dream, ‘Germ in a Population of Buildings’ feels both tangible and ghostly, with figments of our imagination blurred impressionistically into chewable reality.
'Ergo Dynamic Tree' is playful and druggy, using plastic string plucks to suggest court music, and Torsing's impishly robotic vocals reminds us there's a curious mind behind the chattering, interlocking rhythms; 'Patterning' is even more robust, representing the Dutch artist's musical philosophy with pacy, kick-heavy dancefloor bumps that pierce thickets of double-time rustles, eying the lineage of IDM's algorithmically enhanced sound design. The entire record plays like a series of well-lit photographs, sometimes zoomed in so closely that minute details are blown up to a gargantuan scale and 2D textures become as course and mountainous as landscapes.