Live transmissions from the before times from Portland’s occurian.
Starshine synths in the virtual ether; frenetic beat sculptures; tar-like sub-bass sucking at your heels; melting and dissolving into digital artifacts, glitched-out livestreams and alien transcoding.
Club beats for end times.
Electronic music has a reputation for being cold, sterile, inhuman – hermetically-sealed inside the clean room of audio software, chained to the grid like some worker from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. This overlooks the fact that live electronic music can be a revelation, an electronic epiphany. Beat sculptors and synth wizards work in tandem with Sci-Fi technology to conjure visionary worlds and futurist musical forms.
Nowhere is this more evident than on occurian’s live_ep, captured from a series of performances from immediately before the COVID-19 pandemic and a few more from its immediate wake.
Here, we are treated to two tracks recorded at Resistor II from March 2020, just a few weeks before the Coronavirus shuttered and silenced the world. Consider “Mannequin Bending,” an elongated elaboration from HTX70, clocking in at nearly double the length, becoming doubly mesmerizing and alien and woozy and complex. “Tesseracts” is given similar spacey treatment, becoming a kind of Zen rain garden, underscored by crisp, precise beats, managing to sound even more sparkling and vital than it does in its studio.
The other three longform explorations – “larimda,” “groundswell,” and “figsy” – are sourced from a handful of livestream events from 2020 and 2021 – Bloom III, Friendcare, and Resistor III.
live ep is striking in its quality and clarity. Occurian brings his signature cosmic synths and trademarked post-IDM beats to life in startling fidelity, all captured live and delivered to you from the dregs of 2021.
Love long live electronic music! Long may it reign, wherever it may be found.