“PÆN is the new pseudonym of Greek-born, Netherlands based composer & sound designer Panos Pagonis. Aiming to deliver story-telling electronic music, rich in atmosphere and dynamic. PÆN’s debut release is the EP “Talos”.“Talos” is the “prelude” to the concept LP “Origins” which will follow at the end of 2020 (digital + vinyl). Both releases are drawing inspiration by the myths & legends of the “Bronze Age”, as well as the mysterious, yet perhaps “prophetic” Bronze Age Collapse. The releases seek not only to tell the story of these times through a musical anachronism but also to trigger the interest of people who are unfamiliar to what happened between 3000-1200BC. One such myth is the story of Talos, the first “robot”. A gigantic automaton, tasked with the protection of Minos’ Kingdom. It is unknown if such a machination existed, real or not though it proves humans have always being dreaming of the future.”
Occasionally things come my way that seem to stick where others wouldn’t. A small part of me has an affinity to beat driven electronic music, but there is a fine line between what I like and what I don’t. There is no real arbitrarily defined decision, for some reason certain pieces speak to me while others leave me cold. The four pieces on PÆN’s debut EP seem to tick the right boxes for me. A minimal almost dub-techno sound – ✔. A dark edge to the music that adds menace – ✔. Fragile piano lines – ✔. Crisp beats – ✔. A bed of synths – ✔. Like 99% of musicians Pagonis is not re-inventing the wheel when it comes to this style of music, but what he has created draws me in. There is layering within the pieces as they constantly shift despite the strong repetitive nature of the pieces (I am a fan of repetitive pieces that can be somewhat trance inducing).
Pagonis is also not afraid to mix in classic proggy synth sounds alongside a myriad of crackling, glitchy beats, dark rumbling bass lines and field recordings. He certainly has a sound palette that he works from for the tracks on this EP, but this does not mean that you are getting four versions of the same piece. You could say that having limitations encourages Pagonis to further explore his sound world. Tempos change like the more insistent “Proem” which evolves from more abstract beginnings and has a glass like piano motif throughout. “Ichor” has a particular upbeat melodic synth opening that switches it’s intention once the bass line comes in an exerts it’s authority on the piece. The title piece is probably the most musically expressive track as well as the one that is closest to the dance floor, while the finale piece “Origins III (Sea Peoples)” strips the beats away to create a piece that has ambient styles, while not necessarily being an ambient piece. It is a cross between a soundtrack-esque piece and a reduction of his own music.
The four tracks and twenty six minutes of “Talos” are a joy which you will find yourself putting on repeat. The title track and “Proem” (which was released a month before the full EP) are the highlights for me, but I enjoyed all four pieces. “Talos” is available digitally.