Prism is the second release from electronic artist espher.
2015 has seen espher relocate to Melbourne, a sabbatical from from his home town of Manchester, UK. Prism follows on from the critically acclaimed Insular, it is a left turn from all that has proceeded it. With these seven tracks espher has found a new self. Continuing to explore his sound design and colour palette, synth sounds are constructed from field recordings and broken old toys, unusual sound sources are twisted into unrecognisable reincarnations of themselves. Throughout the twenty seven minute duration espher maintains a deep emotional undercurrent, always managing to keep the listener on tenterhooks. Imperfections are its beauty, accidental flaws sequenced.
In Blinding White Light opens the proceedings with 80’s style synth arpeggios glistening in between earth shattering drums. The sound of an artist embracing a new sound palette, inspired by noise of the past but with a vision towards the future.
An Age of Magic follows and slows the tempo down to a lullaby. Elegant piano reminiscent of Nils Frahm at his most tranquil juxtaposed with sampled drums repositioned from field recordings. Lots of space for the melody to breathe, electronic music made human. A Feeling of nostalgia underpinned by background noise of the present.
Dusk sets the mood to melancholy, it is a snapshot stolen from a dystopian future. It feels familiar but just out of reach, hope and sorrow intertwined. Dew escaping into twilight, optimistic, a new day.
Coexist is next in the proceedings and represents the closest to a conventional dance track you will find within espher’s mind. from the very first moment it envelops the listener, engulfs them within its atmosphere, a foreign landscape, alone waiting to be explored. Repeated listens reveal new nuances, subtle textures and different perspectives.
Ebb:Flow takes a turn into darkness, moody, discordant and sparse. constructed upon the foundations of a void. Honest and laid bare.
Conduit is the penultimate track and it feels like a piece in four parts. Unease in the moment of discovery, something beautiful and new, restlessness and then childish naivety. A rawness unrestrained reminiscent of life, beauty waiting to be found but torn at its seams. the unexpected occurs, we do our best to adapt and mend.
Sacrifice closes up Prism and it is a celebration of unrestrained joy. Melody soars above thunderous lows, crystalline highs pierce and pads float hauntingly in the ether. Throughout Prism espher has been building us up to this conclusion, it feels heavenly, an answer to the countless questions he has asked of us. When the angelic arpeggios finally drop they feel like a breath of fresh air.
Prism represents a crossroad for espher, it ties up lose ends and is a projection of things to come. Wistful introspections with moments of blissful clarity.
released May 15, 2015
all rights reserved