❉ This is a dense album, where every track contains multitudes, and there’s much to unravel across the entire play length.
There’s a popular fallacy that all electronica from the less poppy end of the musical spectrum basically falls into a very similar pattern. It’s not something which fans of the genre would say, but ask someone who hasn’t heard much and they’ll almost inevitably claim (amongst other things) that it all sounds the same.
It’s not something which fans of the genre would say, but ask someone who hasn’t heard much and they’ll almost inevitably claim (amongst other things) that ‘well, it all sounds the same’.
Onepointwo (or Greek musician Konstantinos Giazlas, to give him his Sunday name) seems to exist to refute that claim. From the modern day darkwave of the opening track, Bridge, through the ethereal echoing bubbles and stabbing single note percussion of Stable Flight and onto the spiky retro sounds of Polar Time Machine, even just the first three tracks on the new album from Subexotic, Synchronization, make a mockery of such ill-informed foolishness.
Check out his description of the album:
This journey is conducted with the use of minimal electronics, abstract and distorted shortwave radio signals, dystopian soundscapes, all carefully wrung out from criss-crossing digital and analogue sources, fused with a passion for heavy effects and percussive sounds. Fashioned from a collection of tracks hitherto believed to be lost to a cruel computer malfunction, synchronization was salvaged from a final reboot. No editing, no tweaking, no second chance – these tracks have reached terminal velocity.
I love the idea that this is truly found music – but music found in his own space, created from his own brain and lamented as lost forever. Then rediscovered, rescued from technology gone wrong, and thrown out into the world exactly as they were when they were lost. Musical survivors.
I don’t know if it’s that lack of editing which caused it, but what every track on the new album does share however is a sort of musical playfulness and a tone reminiscent, in a good way, of bands like Biosphere. It’s rarely what you’d call happy sounding music, but it’s always clever, always thoughtful. Patterns and details emerge, fade away and re-emerge across the entire album, as Giazlas visits and revisits ideas and concepts, twists them and turns them into new shapes, eking out every drop of creativity possible.
This is a dense album, where every track contains multitudes, and there’s much to unravel across the entire play length. Where a track like Data Mode Over feels like pretty traditional electronica, for instance, with shades of Vangelis even, the track which comes immediately before it, The She Generator, builds in energy until by the end it positively buzzes with weight, static and power.
Onepointwo’s back catalogue contains some heavy hitters in terms of labels, including the mighty Woodford Halse, and some fantastic releases (for those wanting to hear more and delve further into the back catalogue, I’d recommend both that Woodford Halse album, Theros, and the phenomenal Σociend, which came out on Miracle Pond in 2020 – both are available on Bandcamp) – but Synchronization can hold its head up, even in such exalted company.
❉ Onepointwo: ‘Synchronization’ available from 16 July 2021 on 12″ Blue Heavyweight Vinyl LP (Cat. No. SUBEX00044)/Digital Download (Cat. No. SUBEX00045) via Subexotic Records. Available to pre-order from the artist’s Bandcamp page.
❉ Stuart Douglas is an author, and editor and owner of the publisher Obverse Books. He has written four Sherlock Holmes novels and can be found on twitter at @stuartamdouglas