Afrikan Sciences – Circuitous (PAN) – Review

Afrikan Sciences – Circuitous (PAN) – Review
There are albums you hear once and you know what they are about and there are albums you hear once and you think “There’s something going on but I didn’t get the whole picture, i’ll have to listen to it again. Maybe twice.” Without a doubt Afrikan Sciences new album belongs to the second category. On this album, named Circuitous, there is something going on indeed: although made by one guy and his machines, some tracks (e.g. Swash) have an particularly organic feeling about them, sounding halfway like a jazz bands´ jam session, a jazz band that is very much into loose structures and staying on a groove for a while. On the other hand there are tracks that don’t have any band feeling at all, electronic soundscapes with slowly increasing tension and an almost cinematic atmosphere (the fantastic and outstanding Kae) or harsh and stumbling beats (Group Home Reality) . And there are deep house (well, kind of) tracks with a solid four-to-the-floor beat (well, kind of) and a hypnotic groove (The Image). Sometimes warm harmonies(Two In The Chamber) or delicate grooves (Circuitous) appear, sometimes cold and distant schemes make you feel uneasy (Reddin Off). These diversities, together with a stunning richness of details in sounds and production (mastered by Rashad Becker) don’t make it easy to categorize Circuitous and actually that’s the good thing about this music. Afrikan Sciences (aka Mr. Eric Douglas Porter) obviously does not believe in boundaries and follows the path of pioneers like Sun Ra (to name the obvious) and contemporary artists like Theo Parrish (whose new albums’ vision of American Intelligence isn’t that far away from Afrikan Sciences while its sounds are way more spartanic and dry) and Flying Lotus who create music as art just the way it sounds right to them. Of course some might say that Circuitous is a difficult album or even incoherent but this falls short. Meandering through different moods, rhythms, harmonies and disharmonies, Afrikan Sciences intensifies (have a listen to his last album Theta Wave Brain Sync released on Deepblak one year ago, it’s interesting to watch an artist subtilizing his vision) his quite singular form of expression illustrating the varieties of a complicated world we have to live in and deal with. Afrikan Sciences doesn’t take the easy way out but, though the results tend to be abstract and complex sound sculptures, his approach is always playful and sophisticated. That’s why his music is not just a collage made out of all the cool stuff from afrofuturism via Bitches Brew to deep house, it is not designed but heartfelt. So for some listeners it might be kind of a challenge but if one is tired of easy-to-swallow music for airports and boutiques, this record is an opportunity to stay at home and explore unknown territories. Circuitous is released on PAN so after Flatland by Objekt, Unit 2669 by Black Sites (aka Helena Hauff & F#x) and tons of other stuff, the label keeps on flooding the planet with highly interesting and diverse music. Amazing. (Written by João Geck) You can BUY Afrikan Sciences - Circuitous released on PAN HERE from whatpeopleplay.com.

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