Creating a composition means making decisions. During times in which you virtually have all sounds that have ever been recorded at your availability, composers must choose between infinite possibilities. The duo Ellicist does not perceive this contemporary ocean of possibilities as too much choice, they are swimming in it. Ellicist are weaving thick textures from the most diverse tones and rhythms. Their tracks are placing synthetic buzzing, the croaking of frogs, low frequency billowing and humming, flutes, the droning of flies, and the whole spectrum of the digital creation of sound next to one another. This intensity of sensations is not supposed to overstrain the listener, it invites them to follow a process. This music does not have a strict structure; instead, it is breathing openness at every moment.
Ellicist are incessantly oscillating between abstraction and elements of pop music. Melodies are being hinted at, and sounds are being piled up, at times tirelessly. Fragments of etheric choirs or field recordings are unfolding their associative power. The melodious Ink is a track full of touching intimacy and is in constant motion until it eventually pauses to create a silent ocean of sound. Passage People is permeated by a groove of throbbing synths. The tapestries of sound of Ponds & Graves, on the other hand, are creating the foundation for expressive percussions. Ihnen Steg is almost a dub track. During the opener Hennepin and its follower Lilei sounds of palpable corporeity are being combined with ones that are hardly tangible.
Point Defects has a incredible spatiality. At one point you might believe that you are able to precisely localize the sounds in an imaginary system of coordinates. And then the whole systemization crumbles. It is an astonishing production: you can almost taste the sounds.
Ellicist are Thomas Chousos & Florian Zimmer. Chousos studied composition in Greece before moving to Berlin, where he is working as a producer and sound engineer under the moniker Tadklimp. Florian Zimmer has been playing with several groups. Besides Ellicist he is a member of Saroos and Driftmachine.
I probably wouldn't have listened to this without the context of it being about dementia, but even without that context, this is a real work of art. The distorted big-band samples create a sound that starts out nostalgic, and becomes disturbing and confused, then fades into emptiness, but is enthralling all the way through. Stage 4 is my favorite, simultaneously defying musical logic and upholding it. Ivan Stanton