In a perfect world, 2020k infrasound collective artists would come together to create wonderfully stunning projects together. You’ve seen this happen already with myself releasing the “Contagion” single under the Wet Eyes imprint, but it seems as though Kamas (known better under the moniker Nyetscape) and Kinesthetiac, two previously reported on musicians and a third member called Powernap [bandcamp] have put together a side project under the name Simulate Televangelist and the results are just what had been expected: more than could be expected.
On the self-titled debut, the trio set out to create one of the most ambitiously sounding Electronic records to be released in 2013 so far. The rhythmic structures on the first proper opening song, “Cobalt Surge” intricately combines high impact power of a wide use of stereo imaging, with slow-flowing pads that double as synthesized leads. The use of the left and right stereo positioning is admirable while the muted drum and bass influence assaults from both sides, in slight variations, but ultimately reach an end goal that creates a unified monster from the sum of all of it’s parts. The build up of this track is natural, the breakdowns are easily worked into one another, and the final piano sounds that end the track demonstrate the final, delicate surge of power before the track’s end.
“Helicons” beings distinctly Boards of Canada-esque, with background static sound effects taking over the stereo imaging while warbling, humanized synthesizers lament in and out of tune with one another. It’s an emotional beginning that unfortunately doesn’t see too much of an expansion, as it’s powered down before the minute mark hits. However, the impact of the main segment of the song allows inkings of it to be placed underneath the mix, while later, coming back into focus as solider like drum machine sounds religiously beat. These rhythmic sections beat full of tension for the most part, but at times, a synth-bass line works its way into the song, creating a hopeful and almost pop sonic spectrum for a moment.
“Miami III” plays as a nice extended opener for the track after it, the largely reverberated sounding “Phonovision”. Several instrumental bits are established in the middle of the track which bring all of the layers together inside of this vision, but it’s the two minute and a half songs afterward “DPDTV” and “Sycophant” that come together beautifully to play brother and sister to one another. When “DPDTV” travels like the inside head of a television, then drops off, “Sycophant” is there to catch up with eerily focused melodic lines that delay and beautifully reverberate as they’re worked into the final mix of the track. The two songs are simplified in layers, but beautiful, even working in an underlying muffled sample that is distinctly reminiscent of “U-1” by Iamamiwhoami.
“The Trees, They’re Malfunctioning” brings together a more experimental and atmospheric vibe to the song, at times creating noise so dense that it’s hard not to envision a machine actually causing nature itself to tear down. The drums cause a heightened, militant sense of drive as they march and distort in the background amongst the noise. This metamorphosis exists and continues to build, most notably the last minute of the track in which samples, swells, reverberation, and synths build together, rising and rising to a summit until it ultimately drops off without warning. It’s Simulate Televangelist’s most sharpening moment, becoming an industrial warfare and causing a sonic hell that’s ironically bearable to live inside.
The final track in the short feature of this collective gathering is “λmphetamine”. It’s euphoria and interweaving of countless tracks and home video snippets are almost heartbreakingly emotional against a repetitive rhythmic section. In fact, “λmphetamine” holds a sort of undemanding control that warmly wraps itself around the rest of the record, causing its sense of direction to be fully realized. Starting out experimental, the song eventually finds its drive and direction with a kick drum heavy beat. By the time it drops off, the ambience is fully recognized and layers of instrumentation and field recordings that weren’t as present come into full focus. It’s an educated song, just as Simulate Televangelist holds itself as a sophisticated concept throughout it’s entire play.
It’s a no-brainer that these three would create something stunning. Kinesthetiac has been featured on our Top Songs of 20xx list twice in a row, while Kamas earned the number three spot list year. Powernap’s wonderful mixing skill and knack for ambience shows itself well, and by the album’s end it’s nice to hear three independent musicians coming together to make a record very cohesive, as opposed to fighting to be heard over one another.
Bravo, Simulate Televangelist.
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