« on: December 28, 2007, 02:28:00 PM »
If no one minds, I'd like to add my own kudos on this one:
A strong sense of narrative drama underlies every track on Parallel Worlds’ superb new CD, Obsessive Surrealism. Lushly dark, beat-driven and meticulously constructed, Surrealism makes great use of frontman Bakis Sirros’ adoration for and mastery of analogue systems. Classic-feel electronic twiddle and sequencer runs blend smoothly with breathy synth pad textures as Sirros leads the listener through his shadowy musical explorations. “Beneath Fear” opens the disc with a gentle piano riff playing in the middle of an ever-darkening atmosphere. Electro-critters chirp in the undergrowth and a phantom chorus sings like a hymnal. “Different Pathways” drips with something both sinister and urgent, a feel that carries into the potent, if short, “Empty Human Cells.” The pace slows for “Increasing Complexity,” where glitch-and-blip notes arc and bounce over a simple melody. Two short pieces follow (“Interlude” being the better of the two), providing something of a aural palate cleanser before Sirros hits his stride with the 10-minute “Reflective,” where a sequenced bass line stalks like a masked killer on a rain-slicked street. Sirros cites the soundtracks of John Carpenter movies as an influence, and the cinematic tint to Surrealism is obvious—as I have said too many times before, these pieces are bits of background music in search of their scenes. And it’s never more obvious than in “Reflective.” “Mindmists” grabs hold of the listener with heavy-handed piano chords over weeping strings before spreading out to a lighter, more melodic feel. “Pale Yellow Sky” offers more glitch-beat goodness (again tinged with the ominous). “Distracted” is an oddly danceable bit of funk, with its twangy analogue bassline and body-moving backbeat. The disc ends with “Crying Spells,” accented with slightly too bombastic percussion. Other reviewers have noted appreciatively that Sirros keeps his tracks fairly short. I concur. It allows each piece to be a scene unto itself, an enjoyable-if-melancholy story told wholly and never overdone. Overall, Obsessive Surrealism is an enjoyable blend of old and new, melody and melancholy, and dark and light--and it’s worth many a listen.