Atiq – Sonorous EP [2016, NLD, Onset Audio]

Altough developing mainly a Techstep / Neurofunk approach, the Seattle-based label Onset Audio (headed by Seth Grym) has always reserved room for releases digging for Deep / Halfstep Drum’n Bass experiences. In 2011, not by chance, was released on it one of the first Homemade Weapons‘ records (that allow us to see the future style he will come to use in the following years), plus a good number of EPs by Red Army, and an in-depth interest in the last year towards the Eastern Europe Deep movement, releasings two very tasty singles such as Russian Hidden TacticsDo not Open / Tape A (2015) and the tribal paranoias by Entire (Filip Olszewski / Polonia) on Mosuo Tribe / Fifth Ocean.

The young Entire is also the mind behing Come Meditate, the Dark Deep Drum’n Bass community, that constantly puts out really suggestive podcasts by promising East European artists through their Youtube and Soundcloud channels. They use melanchonic b/w artworks featuring landscapes with an obscure geometric shape in between.

Talking about the East European scene on which Onset Audio is focusing on, in the next months, will be published a spicy record by K-Rob (Deep Structure), who has recently collaborated with our webzine recording an amazing Mix you can find both on our mixcloud channel and soundcloud one [the full article: here]. Onset launched his 82th release last April: is called Sonorous EP and is by Guido Van Den Brink from Netherlands, aka Atiq. Guido has been a prominent character in the Rotterdam’s night parties during the ’00s promoting events like Jungle Soundclash, Who Broke my Beats and Rave!!!, during which he used to mix up in his sets the sound of violent genres such as Breakbeat, Breakcore, UK Hardcore, Drum’n Bass and Jungle [for the socials of the producer: Soundcloud / Discogs / Facebook / Bandcamp]

Focusing on productions with a peculiar Breakcore component, Atiq founded in 2007 his own label Mindtrick Records whose direction, also thanks to its roster constantly seeing the addiction of new and fresh artists, is year by year moving towards a sort of Epic / Intelligent take on Drum And Bass. He worked and experimented a lot with his pal Enk (Pim Arnoldus from Netherlands), releasing together with him the Fear of the Unknown full length album, that adds up to several past collaborations and shared stages. The Atiq’s work on Onset we’re considering in this review heavily shows the influences of ambient music records the producer has been listening a lot in the recent period.

TRACKLIST

1. Sonorous
2. The Euclidean Perspective
3. Hiraeth
4. Real Life (Await Us)
5. Sonorous (Red Army Remix)
6. Hiraeth (Aeon Waves Remix)
7. The Euclidean Perspective (Dyl Remix)

As already mentioned, Sonorous is the title of this oniric work. Starting from the artwork (in which a man-shaped figure, standing on the top of a rocky mountain, spreads a concentric aura of hot caleidoscopic geometries), it seems the artist intended to heavily focus on providing an otherworldly perspective to look at reality. In the opening track, Atiq worked together with Tangent (a dark ambient duo from Netherlands). Starting with a dreamy and wandering pad, Hi-Hats and a glorious voice sample, the piece kicks in the typical Halfstep Kick pattern together with constant waves of distorted bass. The starting is a heavy one, ultimately leading the listener to the next dreamy piece which is The Euclidean Perspective. The track is built around abstract, geometrical harmony, a progression of enchanted pad grooves, Shakers, filtered Hi-Hats, and a choked shot closing and highlightning every beat. Soft and whispered bass pulsations accompany the rolling symphony, that stops leaving room for a deep reflection about time and space and what lies beyond, in the unearthly region where eternity is staring at us and our lack of awareness.

“It’s like in this universe, we process time linearly forward. But outside of our spacetime, from what would be a fourth-dimensional perspective, time wouldn’t exist, and from that vantage, could we attain it. We’d see our spacetime would look flattened..See, everything outside our dimension that’s eternity, eternity looking down on us.Now, to us, it’s a sphere, but to them… it’s a circle.” Rustin Spencer ‘Rust’ Cohle

 

In the following track, the bassline and then the percussions starts as they were filling an empty space with solid sounds, melting into a perturbed vibration. Hiraeth wanders through territories of uncomfort presenting a strangled high-pithced beat, through which the high-energy of the rampant kicks is unleashed. A vocoder-ed voice line appears, highlightning the heroic, epic connotation of the groove and the melody. Finally, reverberated hats stretch in the space surrounding the listener, fading into the sound of an electric piano that completes the composition. The tracks ends in a glorious way, with a stolen and intimate taste of the inifinite power of the mind.

“I promised you the great secret and I will not disappoint you. Is this the end of our adventure? Nothing has an end. We came in search of the secret of immortality, to be like Gods and here We are, mortals, more human than ever. If we have not obtained immortality at least we have obtained reality. We began in a fairy tale and we came to life, but is this life reality? No, it is a film. Zoom back camera. We are images, dreams, photographs. We must not stay here prisoners. We shall break the illusion. This is Maya. Goodbye to the Holy Mountain. Real life awaits us. ” the Alchemist

With a sample taken from Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain, Atiq majestically celebrates the final moments of the record. During the time in which the prophecy is told, the Hi-Hats start in a corrupted crescendo of low interferences. When the spoken passage is interrupted, Real Life (Awaits Us) scans the entrance of a psychedelic tribal pattern, coagulated in a celestial and immaterial bassline. The tracks defines a saturated portrait of both tonal and a-tonal synth melodies, side by side with echoing noises, bouncing sounds, rolling Half Step rhythms and distant choirs. Directly living the emotion of understanding how to break perceptual barriers and recognizing our inner selves shining through everything, we know that real life awaits us.

In the final part of the EP three remix tracks appear: Sonorous (Red Army Remix), Hiraeth (Aeon Waves Remix) and The Euclidean Perspective (Dyl Remix). Red Army reinterprets the opening track Sonorous in a bouncing Techstep galloping running on the edge of neurosis. The other main features are short melodic lines, sharp Hats, and a pronunced attention to the dancefloor primary needs. Aeon Waves turns Hiraeth firstly to Ambient/Drone territories. Then, the main theme embraces grinded claps, shiny and crystallized pads, and pleasant / dreamy atmosphere. The youngster Dyl raises all the melancholic potential of The Euclidean Perspective erecting wall of sounds, playing heavy percussions and digging in a suggestive bassline proceeding to a slow and empty closure, broken off with an evoking call to the unknown.

Atiq released on his soundcloud channel a Halfstep/ post-Autonomic Promo Mix few days before the EP came out. Share and support!


VERSIONE ITALIANA

Pur mantenendo un carattere Techstep / Neurofunk, la label di Seattle Onset Audio (capitanata da Seth Grym) ha sempre garantito lo spazio per release che approfondissero le segmentazioni Deep ed Halfstep della Drum’n Bass.

Non a caso nel 2011 ha ospitato una delle prime uscite di Andre Delgado (Homemade Weapons), che lasciava già intuire lo stile che poi avrebbe maturato col passare degli anni; una buona quantità di EP da parte di Red Army; ed una mirata attenzione, per quanto riguarda l’ultimo anno, al panorama super-Deep Est Europeo con due singoli particolarmente appetitosi, quali le scie spettrali definite da Hidden Tactics (Russia) a fine 2015 in Do not Open / Tape A e le paranoie tribali di Entire (Filip Olszewski / Polonia) in Mosuo Tribe / Fifth Ocean. Il giovane Entire è mente di Come Meditate, oscura community Deep Drum’n Bass in costante attività attraverso i propri canali Youtube e Soundcloud, podcast molto suggestivi ed evocativi, ed infine artwork di paesaggi melanconici in bianco e nero, tra i quali spicca sempre una buia figura geometrica.

Inoltre, nei prossimi mesi sarà presente una piccante release da parte del rumeno K-Rob, conduttore del radio show Deep Structure il quale, di recente, ha collaborato con la nostra Webzine donandoci un fantastico Mix che potete trovare sia su mixcloud che su soundcloud [per l’articolo completo: qui].

L’uscita a cui ci vogliamo dedicare oggi, invece, è la numero 82 di Onset Audio, rilasciata lo scorso Aprile 2016: Sonorous EP di Guido Van Den Brink (Olanda), in arte Atiq, personaggio di rilievo nella notte della Rotterdam degli anni 2000, il quale, con party come Jungle Soundclash, Who Broke My Beats e Rave!!!, proponeva nottate infinite a suon di violenti sferzate di Breakbeat, Breakcore, UK Hardcore, Drum’n Bass e Jungle [per i link social del producer: Soundcloud / Discogs / Facebook / Bandcamp]. Fiondatosi poi nella produzione con una particolare affinità Breakcore, inaugura nel 2007 la sua label Mindtrick Records, che, oltre ad avere un roster d’artisti molto ampio, descrive a grandi linee il percorso musicale complessivo del producer. L’olandese, infatti, col passare degli anni si avvicina sempre più ad un suono Epic / Intelligent frutto di lavori e sperimentazioni con il suo braccio destro Enk (Pim Arnoldus / Olanda) con il quale, oltre a svariate collaborazioni, ha prodotto il full lenght Fear of the Unknown.

Il lavoro che Atiq propone su Onset contiene ancora parte delle contaminazioni ambientali che spesso ha inserito nelle sue produzioni, ma con un evoluzioni totalmente differenti da quanto creato in precedenza.

TRACKLIST
 
1. Sonorous
2. The Euclidean Perspective
3. Hiraeth
4. Real Life (Awaits Us)
5. Sonorous (Red Army Remix)
6. Hiraeth (Aeon Waves Remix)
7. The Euclidean Perspective (Dyl Remix)

 

Sonorous è il titolo che viene assegnato a questo onirico lavoro, che già dall’artwork – la sagoma di un uomo che dalla vetta di una sacra montagna rocciosa sprigiona un’aura concentrica di calde geometrie caleidoscopiche – lascia ad intendere la prospettiva ultraterrena che avvolge l’ascoltatore. Nella traccia di apertura, Atiq si avvale della collaborazione dei Tangent (duo Dark Ambient olandese) partendo con un’avvincente accelerata. L’EP inizia con un pad sognante e sorprendente, nel quale gli Hi-Hats, accompagnati da un glorioso sample vocale, aprono lo spazio al pattern di Kick tipico dell’Halfstep ed alla costante ondata di basso distorto. Una partenza col turbo, per introdurre l’ascoltatore al successivo atterraggio sognante di The Euclidean Perspective: la traccia presenta un’astratta armonia geometrica ricamata da Atiq con elevazioni di groove progressivi e melodie incantate di tastiere, scandite da Shaker ed Hi-Hats filtrati, sui quali cade un colpo soffocato in chiusura ad ogni battuta. Un morbido basso sussurrante culla questa rotante sinfonia, che si interrompe lasciando spazio ad una riflessione sulla concezione del tempo al di fuori della nostra dimensione spaziale, dove l’eternità guarda noi e la nostra inconsapevolezza.

“It’s like in this universe, we process time linearly forward. But outside of our spacetime, from what would be a fourth-dimensional perspective, time wouldn’t exist, and from that vantage, could we attain it. We’d see our spacetime would look flattened..See, everything outside our dimension that’s eternity, eternity looking down on us. Now, to us, it’s a sphere, but to them… it’s a circle.” Rustin Spencer ‘Rust’ Cohle

Nella suspance lasciata dai filosofici / mitologici riferimenti, ripartono nel vuoto le basslines e, successivamente, le percussioni, fornendo una spinta più pronunciata ed evidente. Il tappeto disturbato che apre i rimbombi lontani di Hiraeth sonda il terreno con un soffocato beat medio-alto, che al segnale della voce in vocoder apre una marcia di galoppanti Kick su un’eroica linea melodica. I riverberi sui piatti estendono ulteriormente lo spazio circostante, invaso successivamente da una linea di piano elettrico che ne scalfisce i particolari, riempiendo la composizione, e chiudendo con gloria la determinazione di un intimo assaggio dell’infinita potenza della mente.

“I promised you the great secret and I will not disappoint you. Is this the end of our adventure? Nothing has an end. We came in search of the secret of immortality, to be like Gods and here We are, mortals, more human than ever. If we have not obtained immortality at least we have obtained reality. We began in a fairy tale and we came to life, but is this life reality? No, it is a film. Zoom back camera. We are images, dreams, photographs. We must not stay here prisoners. We shall break the illusion. This is Maya. Goodbye to the Holy Mountain. Real life awaits us. ” the Alchemist

Con questo campionamento da The Holy Mountain di Jodorowsky, Atiq celebra maestosamente la chiusura di questo lavoro. Durante la profezia, partono i primi Hi-Hats ed un’interferenza di bassi: quando la voce si interrompe, la traccia Real Life (Awaits Us) scandisce l’entrata della profonda e psichedelica atmosfera tribale caratterizzata da una celeste bassline immateriale. Il pezzo dipinge una scena in cui compaiono molteplici aure di synth, tonali ed atonali, echi di rumori e rimbalzi in un tappeto di bongate sfuggenti, ritmica Halfstep rotolante e cori lontani. Comprendendo come sfondare la barriera dei limiti percettivi, e come potersi identificare distinguendosi dal tutto, la vita vera ci attende.

Per completare la recensione, è necessario menzionare i 3 remixes conclusivi che appaiono nel disco: Sonorous (Red Army Remix), Hiraeth (Aeon Waves Remix) e The Euclidean Perspective (Dyl Remix). Red Army interpreta la traccia d’apertura in un’incalzante techstep al limite del nevrotico, in vetta alle sue tipiche bassline densissime: brevi linee melodiche progressive negli spazi vuoti, piatti tagliati, in una carica d’affinità dancefloor. Aeon Waves rigira Hiraeth inizialmente in una scia Ambient Drone che lascia subentrare la melodia portante della traccia originale in modo sommesso, scivolando da sonorità dub che crescono e si completano con shake, clap tritati e brillanti pad cristallizzati, in una piacevole atmosfera sognante. Il giovane Dyl presenta The Euclidean Perspective in tutta la sua malinconia, innalzando barriere sonore tramite percussioni medio-alte e una bassline suggestiva che prosegue fino alla chiusura lentamente svuotata, ed improvvisamente troncata con un richiamo evocativo.

Informazione finale: Atiq ha reso pubblico pochi giorni prima dell’uscita dell’EP un Promo Mix di stampo Halfstep / post-Autonomic. Enjoy and support!

mm

Born in Brescia, Italy in 1990 and ‘probably going to die in [that] town’, Roberto is interested in experimental drum’n bass and everything else having enough reverbs and deep basslines. If there there isnt enough deepness in your life, please get a pair of good earphones.

mm

Roberto Pizzandelli

Born in Brescia, Italy in 1990 and 'probably going to die in [that] town', Roberto is interested in experimental drum'n bass and everything else having enough reverbs and deep basslines. If there there isnt enough deepness in your life, please get a pair of good earphones.

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