Hailing from Vancouver, Samuel Macklin is the mastermind behind the experimental, ambient project connect_icut. Playing in the sonic worlds of dream states and textually rich patterns, Macklin produces swirling ambient as well as evocative glitch moments that cause the listener to sit up and listen. Music for Granular Synthesizer is a triple-cassette EP that explores dissonant sounds alongside chaotic, conflicting moments.
“Uridium” has this beautiful swirling synth that is almost haunting. It sits in the midst of grainy textures and it undulates, attempting to continually come to life. As the track progresses, layers of drone and synth are added and the fullness of the piece is realized. “Laureline” is just a beautiful piece with sparkling particles, shimmering melodies, and fuzzy bottom end. As the track progresses, the tonality of it becomes more challenging but still remains beautiful. “Haernwerthwr” is where the experimental really comes into play with an almost growling glitch opening up the track. This turns into a very sci-fi feeling track as spacy sounds warble into the mix. This composition is unsettling in all the right ways.
“Simonson” continues the sci-fi feel of the previous track. High pitched tones, like playing the edge of a glass filled with water, circulate through the speakers as eerie textures populate the soundscape. Deep tones punctuated the track as it moves forward, slowly and patiently unfolding. As the layers strip away, beautifully hypnotic synths quietly play the piece out to its conclusion. “Crepuscular” moves the tonal landscape into an almost horror feel. Unsettling in its beauty, there is something sinister here lying in wait. The finale to the album, “Smithereens” begins with a beautiful, calming drone that devolves rather quickly into chaos. It’s a challenging end to a stunningly constructed album.
While Music for Granular Synthesizer is called an EP, I find it to be more of an LP length. It’s the first full-length by Macklin since 2014 and it’s a gorgeous edition to his catalog of work. Listen below to the premiere of the album.
Order the triple cassette here: http://aagoo.com/connect_icut-music-for-granular-synthesizer-triple-cassettemp3/
Order the digital only copy here: https://aagoo.bandcamp.com/