Bovaflux: Where There Was Nothing (Highpoint Lowlife, 2005)
Sometimes, in an effort to create music that is truly unique, artists veer right onto the “weird” side. While I’m the kind of music fan who usually enjoys strange and dissonant music, there has to at least be SOME kind of musical element to keep me attentive. Often in underground electronic music, artists ignore that musical element, and instead craft repetitive tracks with technology that neither inspires or challenges. This tendency makes Where There Was Nothing, the new full-length from electronic-laptop master Eddie Symons (a.k.a. Bovaflux), all the more impressive. On this 11 track CD, Bovaflux unites complex beats with an ethic that features beautiful instrumental melodies played by a variety of electronic instruments. The resulting music is soothing, beautiful, multi-layered and fresh-sounding. And, for an all-electronic CD, the music is surprisingly organic sounding (no small feat!), due in part because of the gorgeous melodies, and in part to the hypnotic sounds utilized by Bovaflux.
Where There Was Nothing begins with the sublime “Blind”, an apt title for a minimalistic track that features random computer sounds intertwined with sullen keyboards. The track is slow moving and deliberate, helping the listener to transition from the hum drum of every day life to quiet introspection. The next track, “Ohne Namen”, is a more upbeat, atmospheric song with glitchy, stuttering beats and a spiralling melody that also soothes the listener. The slightly more experimental sounding “Bridge” follows. Incorporating warbling sounds, complex beats, and another shiny melody, “Bridge” is a fully realized song that is gorgeously crafted. “Sleepytime” is a mellower, darker, and more ominous song, with deeply entrenched synths flowing under an upfront beat. “Kleine” infuses an almost hip hop effect on its percussion with subtle keyboard melodies. The title song is another mellower affair, as interlaced melodies blend together over minimalist beats. Other songs on the disc, such as the short but dense “Torchlight”, and the strange “Happy Numbers”, with its static beats and odd bending noises, and the eerie “Downtime”, are all examples of Bovaflux’s ability to create moving pieces with electronic gadgetry. “A Nice Place To End” is indeed just that, the last song on the CD that features a sweet melody flows over the lite beats.
Highpoint Lowlife has again released a CD of gripping electronic music that pushes the listener while subduing them at the same time. Where There Was Nothing is a beautiful collection of music, released in a genre where such statements are rarely made about releases. By combining experimentation with electronic gadgetry with sound melodic principles, Bovaflux is able to toe the line in-between the strange and the serene, the experimental noise and the truly musical. And, with the usual top-notch packaging from Highpoint Lowlife (the CD is presented in a beautiful black 3 panel gatefold decorated with abstract artwork that perfectly suits the music), along with the great recording quality of the release, Where There Was Nothing is an excellent example of how to due electronic music right. For fans of Seefeel, etc.
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