December 8, 2017
The working relationship between producer Psyk (a.k.a. Manuel Anós) and Mote-Evolver continues with the new Silent Witness EP, another episode showcasing Psyk's expert balance of technical variance and affective consistency. The EP title brings to mind the kind of frozen state of awe that accompanies intense, revelatory experiences of all kinds, and the careful build-up of each individual track here allows plenty of room for such a state to come about. Put another way, Psyk's simple but dense constructions rise and fall with a perfect, patient arcing motion that make the music feel very much like a first contact with some uncanny new form of intelligence. "Disorder," for example, leads in with a curiosity-provoking combo of rubbery kick drum and gated synth sounds that seem like sonic accompaniment for observing the conduction of electricity across neuronal pathways. Its gradual intensification, via shivering and cleanly spaced cymbal accents and writhing / restless synth drone, acts like a microscope onto equally colorful imagined scenarios. The title track follows on this with a similar tempo and probing mood, but this time with sharper rhythmic edges, crisp hi-hats and swells that rise like mist over a darkened body of water. "Apart" inaugurates the B-side with a classic club sound; one reliant on chaining together micro-snippets of sound into something epic and expansive. As with the previous two cuts, a master tone glides over this assemblage of tiny machines and sees that it reaches a satisfying conclusion. "Surrender" then ends this particular voyage with a vertiginous, omnipresent sequence guiding the way through a synthetic wilderness where chromed mandibles clack together and where hallucinated alert sounds lend an air of lurking danger. Longtime fans of Psyk will find Silent Witness to be a very worthy addition to his catalogue, and also a worhty addition to any DJ sets that desire to mix raw energy with a carefully tailored sense of sophistication.