Crisopa – Transhumanate.

Sound in Silence come through with another delightful release, this time from Santiago Lizon, based in Madrid, Spain. Since 2005 and bringing together influences as diverse as IDM, Shoegaze, Post-Rock and Classical, Santiago has released three albums and three EP’s on labels such as n5MD, Platforma-LTW, Persona-Isla, Add-Sensor and Escala. He has previously contributed to the Absent Without Leave remix collection “Faded Photographs” with the track “Balloons in the Sky”

The label describe the album, his fourth as “a wonderful collection of seven melodic and emotive tracks with a total duration of 35 minutes. Each track is built slowly up with various elements blending nicely together, including complex glitchy beats, subdued bass, multiple layers of resonant synths and indistinct dreamy vocals. The final result is one of Crisopa’s best works to date, characterized by its beautiful chord progression and densely layered arrangements with lush shoegaze touches and drifting ambient swells.”
It’s recommended for fans of Boards Of Canada, Ulrich Schnauss, Port-Royal and Tycho.

“Bird Song Reincarnation” light intertwined drone tones wrap around with melodic electronics that form into a lightly throbbing based line which are joined by handclapped adorned percussion. BOC style vocals enter the mix barely decipherable to add another element. They are effected vocoder like and follow the melodic lines. Bird sounds appear as the track varies from an ambient section to an electro section. Synth stabs, bubbling underneath electronics, vocal lines and percussion share the same space at various levels before a pastoral ambience ends the track.

“I am the Lord of the Ruins” spacey ghostly ambience swirls while a delicate crystalline Synth line starts to slowly come out of the shadows to become the main element. Brought forward in an Ambient section the percussion and Synth explode into the track with layered Synth and drones, childlike sounds and a scattered drum section. A symphonic section similar to that of the ambient section before it propels the percussion once more with the subdued vocals entering into the track with the only discernible word being “Discover”. A cut up string section adds to the layers of sound with an orchestral feel. The track enters the final section with an influx of cymbals and all the elements from the earlier sections join together and lead out with an outro of electronic and acoustic drones with the chime like sounds and faint vocals disappearing into the ether.

“Fast Dive” electronic blips and blops float up like air bubbles in a bed of ambience. Cut up percussion that rattles around is accompanied by a rumbling bass line, cut up vocal lines and vibrating electro sections. The music then turns into a muted negative sound with elements buried together before rising out with the electro section taking center stage over the percussion and ambience. A melodic section of watery Synth ambience and vocals leads to a pure ambient section that is beatless and leads to the end of the track. The track shows a nice variance of the various elements that have appeared in the album so far.

“Serene Option” looped glitch haunted tones and bird song are joined by jazz like drumming and classic BOC style Synth tones. The elements are joined by electronic percussion that gently propels the track forward and into a vibraphone like section with cut up electronics. The synths give a classic melodic IDM feel to the track that are gentle, but interesting. For the first half the percussion is more subdued, but this changes in the second half where they are more dominant and are joined by glitch beats and vocals. There is a real sense of freedom and positivity in the track.

“Melting Wax Sculptures” makes the beats the feature of this track. It starts off with beats, bass line, Synth progressions and a backwards sample to be joined by metallic percussion, more Synth and the distant affected indecipherable vocals. The beats together have an almost breakbeat like fashion to them which compliments the ambience that is created in the track with the synths and bassline, and propels the track. Towards the end the percussion returns to the jazzy feel of the previous track.

“Fluorine Cold Flames” dark rumbling industrial noises crash over Synth lines and arching drones before a funky-ish bassline is laid under broken beat percussion, distant vocals and beds of ambient Synth. The track has a subdued feeling like there is a Sunday morning coming down vibe to it. It feels laid back, but without being boring before the intensity of all the elements increase equally before it slowly starts relaxing out with Synth ripples and the return of those industrial elements from the start.

“Irradiating Nucleus” A bassline with an attached crystalline Synth drone loops along with a measured pace that is joined by percussive sounds, drum loops, vocoder affected vocals and Synth explorations. The bassline starts to get a bit menacing with its fuzzed out intensity until a cut up Synth, piano and jazzy electronic percussion section splits it up before returning it to the fore. The bassline reminds me of a Graham Massey remix of Bjork’s “Army of Me” with its almost Dubby feel. The bass has a slow, but heavy feel which holds the low-end and the percussion which has a distinct jazz like feel which gives it a rhythmical texture that compliments the bass and the synths.

There are no standouts on the album for me. That is because it is consistently good. There are elements that appear several times over (like the affected vocals) which can make the music a bit samey, but that can attributed to a fair amount artists. What Lizón has created here is an enjoyable, bright listen. It’s the aural equivalent of opening the curtains and letting the light shine in. If you like the artist references at the start of the review, then you will enjoy this album.

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