Review Summary: Ta Pantha Rei
Out of all the shadowy beings lurking in the rapidly blinking eye of the electronic storm raging across Europe, few are as unknown or as underappreciated as Stendeck. The enigmatic producer, named after the equally mysterious Star Dust incident, has released 4 albums to virtually no critical acclaim in the last decade. A great tragedy, to say the least, for Scintilla
is only the latest in a chain of releases so strong it’s almost impossible to believe they all emerged from the mind of one shrouded figure. Try to imagine the bastard love child of 65 DoS and Trentemoller, abandoned and brought up by aesthetic automatons in a gloomy cave on a magic mountain.
Not a definite or irrefutable portrait by any means, but one that will suffice for now.
On his latest release Stendeck has expanded an already hefty palette of sounds, the music grown ever more subtle and layered and the production more impressive as a whole; the glossy material making up Scintilla
winds irrepressibly around the listener like a garment of the softest silk. The lustrous fabric of the beats is woven with such astounding subtlety that every sound flows seamlessly into the next; haunting synths wash over a colossal beach of infinitesimal beats, dissolving the melodic footsteps of lonely piano tones that pad softly along the glittering shore. On gorgeous pieces such as Voiceless Wishes
the intricacy and delicacy of the melodies often contrasts sharply with the robotic pounding of the percussion, creating a delightful dichotomy of sounds that Stendeck has made his own. His most accomplished trick is to interweave shimmering piano with brittle and staccato drum patterns that, whilst sounding disjointed at first, forms part of an irresistible atmosphere permeating every nook and cranny of the musical landscape, forging out of out seemingly irreconcilable fragments a colossal and mesmerising whole.
It’s difficult to pick any particular highlights out of the wholly gorgeous landscape, but the mesmerising Run Amok
serves as a perfect example of his art. Lissom synths wrap themselves like tendrils around frenetic beats that frantically attempt to resist subjugation, submitting eventually only to the soothing entreaties of the ghostly arpeggios that conclude the track.
is indubitably an odd album, yet one that most listeners will be able to take toright away. It follows in the footsteps of Faces
; descending ever lower into the murky depths of the fathomless abyss of sound, unafraid of exploring the whispering velvety dark. The often stated argument that music made using digital technology is somehow cold and soulless has no foundation here; the monster Scintilla
is puzzling, crushing and utterly spellbinding in equal measure. Although the sinuous musical body is composed of twisted cables and quietly smouldering circuits, yet deep inside beats a vehement and joyous human heart which effortlessly propels this enormous and irresistible biomechanical being through the dark.
Dare you follow?