Release Date: 11/07/15
Five years ago, Robert T was working as an air traffic controller in New Brunswick. Following what he described in an interview with Thump as being “the most stressful job in the world”, he took stress leave, unexpectedly finding solace and occupation in the old synths and hardware he had grown up with. This kind of spontaneous creativity, seemingly out of thin air, was once described by Sasu Ripatti when musing on the recording process for 2014’s masterful Visa; “a valve broke open…”, he wrote, “and I collected what came out the pipes.” Indeed, T’s latest EP, Seraph, seems to also contain some of this mysterious creative energy; recorded in one live take inside a church.
The spiritual setting of the record should not be dismissed. The church itself possesses rich, natural reverbs, which T uses to brilliant effect. It also gives us an insight into the conceptual and sonic framework for the record; T has named the record after an enigmatic angelic body and he later described the process of recording the record as “literally shaking the stained glass”. This should really come as no surprise, as sub-frequencies pulse incessantly through the release, and T’s hardware generated soundscapes seems to fill every iota of space, mounting to almost unbearable levels of pressure.
A clear highlight is the EP’s closer, ‘Seraph IV’, which marries the metallic sheen of Helm with the puzzling ambient abstractions of Oubys and others on the Testoon roster. As the static echo loops of the final few seconds steadily recede, there is a sense of incompleteness left at the conclusion of the record. This is not a new musical manifesto for T, but rather the reawakening of a sound long left dormant.