Boomkat Product Review:
The Mirconauts’ George Issakidis aligns your chakras on a clean break with his club roots towards expressive use of microtones and beat-less structures inspired by his yoga routines and kundalini awakening, offering a reflective - but not anodyne - ambient soundtrack to the end of times
“The first thing listeners will note is that it is a very different musical journey to those Issakidis has travelled in the past. Initially associated with techno thanks to his 1990s work – initially as part of the Micronauts, and then with Speedy J – Issakidis gently moved away from his club roots on Karezza, even if the album’s buzzing and hallucinatory electronic concoctions still glanced furtively towards the dancefloor.
Navigating The Kali Yuga Volume One features a series of electronic soundscapes that are variously deeply psychedelic, disturbingly discordant, effortlessly ethereal and unusually picturesque. Issakidis created them over a number of years at his home studio in Vancouver, utilising an extended process of hardware manipulation, improvisation and editing. His use of a dizzyingly long list of analogue and modular synthesisers – including many rare and custom-built pieces – helps to give the album’s seven tracks an unearthly, timeless and on occasions disconcertingly unsettling feel.
At first heady and intoxicating (see the tipsy melodies, cascading motifs and Radiophonic Workshop pulses of ‘Ourania’), then tribalistic and intensely psychedelic (‘Sa Caroca’, with its echoing notes and reverb-doused half-rhythm, and the undeniably freaky ‘Apana’), Navigating The Kali Yuga Volume 1 provides a slowly shifting soundtrack that gently edges towards a more hopeful conclusion.
There are hints of this bright new dawn on ‘Slow Ecstasy’, whose alien-sounding electronics are buzzing with enraptured joy, but it’s on the album’s two longest tracks that the picture becomes clearer and Issakidis’s vision more blissful. This slow-motion transformation begins with ‘Deer Horns (The Upper Triangle)’, a 12-minute ambient excursion in which prolonged notes and tones seemingly drift above icy, glacial chords and immersive sonic textures. Issakidis then transports us to blissful, weightless place on 15-minute closing cut ‘Le Jardin Et Son Jardinier’, a musical out-of-body experience rich in echoing, evolving electronics and opium-strength melodic motifs. It’s a stunning conclusion to the first part of Issakidis’s ongoing exploration of the Kali Yuga.”