Label: Eat Concrete
Release Date: 01/07/2014
Lumisokea’s latest offering brings together features of Europe’s past and future, comprised of sounds made by the innovative and futuristic ‘noise machines’ that Russian Engineerist Vladimer Popov designed in the early 20th Century. The Italian/Belgian duo recontextualise these bizarre acoustic sounds into highly charged tapestries of sound that are contemporary in style and antique in texture.
Lumisokea curiously describe their work as “research into rhythm, synthesis and electro-acoustics”, rather than something primarily creative. This is an almost analytic and scientific notion of sound design, and this sense of ‘research’ rings true with much of their work, which focuses on industrial sounds and an achingly meticulous placement of percussion. This comes through perhaps most strikingly on ‘The Engineerist’, which opens the EP. Despite the organic and animate feel this track possesses, there are undeniably artificial elements to it as well, leaving the listener in awe of its complex inner workings. Where Shackleton goes to extraordinary lengths to ‘analogise’ digitally created beats, Lumisokea do the opposite, digitising and modernising traditional tones from over a century ago.
The middle of the EP takes the sound to an eerier and more distant setting, showcasing the duo’s ability to create rich and immersive aural pictures. Littered throughout the EP there are also semblances of ultra-modern synthesizers, verging on the sort that one would find in the darker subgenres of Drum & Bass such as Neurofunk and Techstep. In particular, ‘Rhythmicon’ compliments its jigsaw-like polyrhythms with unearthly rumbles and pulses, concluding the EP with an unmistakable contemporary finish.
This EP is in part tribute to the progressive spirit of the Soviet inventors and composers who, despite social, political and economic hardship revolutionised the way in which music was created and heard. Lumisokea pay ample homage to this tradition, and leave the listener with many questions unanswered; how was it recorded, edited and performed? How were they programmed, how does one even ‘go about’ writing music like this given its complexity and nuance? It’s rare to find music that genuinely perplexes, but Lumisokea perplex with poise.