Groupthink "Happy Gods" CDr
Groupthink, consisting of electronic music scene veteran and creator of Thousand Pulses, Periphery, Anodize... Darren Bergstein and guitarist, live looper, electronic device aficionado Edward Yuhas, returns with second album "Happy Gods" released on Darren's Periphery brainchild during October 2012, a follow up to successfully challenging debut "Of Microcosmic Origins" (March 2012). Again packaged in round tin and limited to 50 copies. Short introductory "Entrance By Silver Sunrise" sets the atmosphere with intensely colored dronescapade. "Is It Itself?" smoothly unfolds into vividly colored terrains with continually swirling lead and rather undisturbed and meandering background. During the second half more distinctive and eclectic sound manipulations step in and reach slightly annoying mode. I was ready to immerse deeply into Groupthink's peculiar soundworlds, but the following piece, "Sleep Essence", keeps me relaxed while drifting on tranquilly aerial sheets. Rather cacophonous intro of "The Undulating Hour" swiftly traverses into varicolored texture with all kinds of high-pitched resonations, squeaks, sharper outbursts and low rumbles interacting with intense cinematic tides and quieter disruptions. After another shorter, but adventurous episode, entitled "Pause: Looksee", the listener dives deeply into fully blossomed guitar drone wizardry. "Stimulated Yet Still" is the longest piece, reaching nearly 12-minute mark. Gracefully roaring guitar washes with panoramic backing and subtly (or oddly?) dissonant percussive pulse are enormously absorbing, evocative and provocative. A truly glorious performance by Groupthink!!! "Vague Realms" bridge balmily scenic vistas with noisier, ear-bending fragments, experiments and cascades. It's weird, but somehow the warm and harsh parts persist precisely together in this track. And the title selection is just perfect too!!! "Invertebrate" keeps on the same path, with strongly visualizing drones, expressively unfolding and coupled with annoyingly repeating siren-like noises and occasional sonic explosions. This piece is driving me nuts, but I love it!!! Time for another transition, "Pause: Looksee II", this time with absolutely amazing, slightly exotic tinkling sound hanging somewhere between The Hang or Handpan drum and some strings. Just over one minute in length, more please, it's hauntingly gorgeous!!! "Uncomfortably Numb" transports the listener into deeply meditative realms, sculpted with hypnotizing female voice and fragilely tinkling pulses, here and there surrounded by soaring string panoramas. Soothingly relieving journey!!!The next piece, "All Things Elastic", is again richly colored texture, driven by diverse cyber-industrialized tribals and sonic spasms, including some otherworldly voices and guarded by monochromatic drone. With "Does It Dream?" wide-screen terrains are explored, ebbing and gliding, embellished by soft tinkles and swirls. "Exit Through The Wondrous Hue" is a short finale, attractively shaped with pleasant mood and refreshing like a cool breeze. Darren Bergstein and Edward Yuhas invite each listener to experience a truly adventurous, bizarre and intriguing sonic alchemy and explore some fascinating eclipsed territories. Mastering credit goes to Gregory Kyryluk (Alpha Wave Movement, Within Reason). Encounter your "Happy Gods" now!!!
Richard Gürtler (Mar 13, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)