"Parallel Worlds "Shade" (DiN Records, 2009)
"Shade" is the brand-new album by Greek electronic musician Bakis Sirros who uses a helluvalot of gear, including large analogue modular systems. The cover gives it a rather austere look but let's hear if the music is similar or not. "Frightening Frontiers" gets things going with a dubby bass line and echoing experimental sounds. Soon a mysterious melody emerges, as the bass drum quickens its pace. This music is full of tension and anguish. It effectively combines IDM with traditional EM structures, leaning more towards the former. I must mention the great melodic content - it's really something that makes this track stand out from the crowd. Besides, there's a great attention to details and sound programming. The synthetic textures are used effectively and masterfully. With "Entities", we enter a darker realm. Analogue sounds wander on, as a slow bass line asserts itself of the blanket of synthetic pads and glitchy textures. A rhythmic section follows, interrupted by an atmospheric interlude where simply wonderful electric piano sounds appear. The track ends with quiet, Cluster-type chords that gradually fade into silence. "A Moment Frozen" is totally ghostly - two minutes of static, vinyl-like cracking and mysterious, deep chords. Wonderful, cinematic stuff. "Mutating Realities" is the longest track at 10 and a half minutes. Weird sounds are joined by a slow bass drum rhythm, as menacing chords persist in the right channel of the stereo field. More strange sounds are added, as the track sets up a menacing, dark mood. Surprisingly, distant Mellotron flutes surface after 4 minutes. These do not overstay their welcome, though, and are soon drowned by the rhythm and other synthetic sounds. For the last several minutes, this rather intense section is replaced by a barely-heard soundscape - ghostly, aquatic and shimmering. Soon the soundscape transforms into a reprise of the rhythmic theme that was heard before, this time it sounding more minimal and stripped down to the essential elements. "Compulsive Mechanics" is fittingly industrial. Metallic sounds are arranged into a curious rhythmic pattern, as the melody is hypnotic and repetitive. A key change follows, as the track gets more dramatic. Another key change and what we get in the end is a very enjoyable EM number of experimental nature. "Not Being Mirrored" begins with repeating bass, before a busy rhythm is introduced. A weird melody appears, developing into something more shaped and distinguished. Still not something you could hum to, though. A ghostly, musicbox-like melody is introduced, accompanied by synthetic rhythms. The title track plunges into melancholy with its repeating minimal melody and a gently popping rhythm. This is also probably the most emotionally charged track, although the emotions it expresses are those of the stark variety. "Urgency" starts with a voice sample before a stiff, slow rhythm is introduced. After a while, in come upbeat sequences and suspenseful strings. This could serve as the soundtrack to a chase scene in a futuristic movie. The rhythms here are a bit harder than what Bakis is usually known for. There's also a great, mysterious melodic theme near the end. "Towards" is ethereal and flowing, with the rhythmic elements mostly consisting of looped clicks, gentle bass throbs and other such subtle sounds. The track makes nice use of the piano. Finally, "Ungreat Certainty" finishes off on a purely Dark Ambient note. The track mostly consists of floating drones, processed sounds and subtle bass loops. "Shade" is certainly the most accomplished work by Parallel Worlds so far, with great choice of sounds and a claustrophobic, shadowy atmosphere. It's difficult to emphasize any track, but the ones that I thought really stood out were "A Moment Frozen", "Compulsive Mechanics", "Shade", "Towards" and "Ungreat Certainty". This album is highly recommended for fans of modern Electronic Music."
Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia Of Electronic Music