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Parallel Worlds: Obsessive Surrealism

It's unmistakable: had John Carpenter sat down to record a studio album in the early '80s independent of the scores he provided for his own movies with which engineer/synthesist Alan Howarth always lent a huge helping hand and mixing board or two the hypothetical end-product would have been very near what Obsessive Surrealism by Parallel Worlds (aka Greek synthesist Bakis Sirros) sounds like save the penultimate, more house-flavored track. Sirros's first recording for Ian Boddy's DiN label, Obsessive Surrealism might be the best-sounding purely electronic release this year, what with its minimalist melodies, healthy emphasis on Stygian textures, and phantasmal bass-sequences the sort that tend to overshadow other aspects of the composition. Sirros coaxed this textural triumph from a plenitude of genuinely analog modular equipment by Doepfer, Roland and Analogue Systems, and vintage pieces ranging from ARP's 2600 & Odyssey and Yamaha's VCS3 (two of them) to a Nord Modular and Korg's MS-50/20 & Trident synths.

The Carpenter-isms aside, these Obsessive compositions do not ride the coattails of the past; even when the Rubycon-esque 'Tron choirs provide a counterpoint to the serpentine bass sequence in "Beneath Fear," what is being enacted is process, not homage. Slowly building tension via cumulative gradations of sounds murky and crisp that unite in fear-mongering tapestries overt enough to effect the lingering effects of razor cuts, cuts like "Into The Caves Of The Mind" and "Mindmists" also teeter on electro-prog. The intermittent drum pattern, chime melody, creeping bass and deft application of static pops and pin-drops at just the right volume translate "Different Pathways" into the sonic equivalent of quaint supernatural horror without veering into darkwave. Comparably, "Empty Human Cells" possesses just the right combination of dynamics to integrate into a pivotal scene or sweltering climax of some faux-grindhouse horror flick with its ominous bass pattern. In turn, "Increasing Complexity" temporarily trades square dread for ambient space. "Distracted" skirts illbient territory, but Sirros' mastery of sound-sculpt and sample-shape isn't likely to be replicated in any release from that genre. In all, Obsessive Surrealism is the most exciting electronic release of 2007.


1. Beneath Fear 6:06
2. Different Pathways 5:18
3. Empty Human Cells 3:38
4. Increasing Complexity 5:52
5. Into The Caves Of The Mind 4:50
6. Interlude 2:09
7. Reflective 9:32
8. Mindmists 8:49
9. Pale Yellow Sky 5:42
10. Distracted 6:57
11. Crying Spells 4:15

Total time 63:29

Added: November 17th 2007
Reviewer: Elias Granillo
Related Link: DiN Purveyors of Fine Contemporary Electronica
Hits: 3752
Language: english

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