Cascading Elephants was a duo that got condensed down to Ben Parker. His latest effort entitled Hectic Matter is his best yet. The production, songwriting and recording quality is a notch above and also has a better flow.
His music could be considered experimental and is almost completely vacant of vocals. The vocals that do show up on this album feel more like another elements as opposed to the focal point of the songs.
He opens up with “Bloom” in which you hear disparate elements such as synths, pads and even what sounds like a barking dog. It melds nicely in Oneohtrix Point Never kind of way. Percussion comes and goes as the songs starts to build a steady energy. The song is a unique blend of sounds which is indicative of what else you will hear on this album.
“Mariners” contains arpeggiated synths which pan back and forth between your speakers before transitioning into distorted guitar and layers of of more elements. His voice is distorted and sings a couple of words that feel like a mantra.
A steady kick drum and oscillating synths which ascend and descend are all over “Termites” while “I Don’t” has what sounds like a synth accordion. One of the darkest tracks is unquestionably “Pedestrians” which has a thick veil of ominous pads which pour over you like a london fog. If there is a song that is going to make you dance I would give it to “Odd Time Six” which contains an angular beat which will induce you to move your body parts.
“Matter” is the eight plus minute piece which is dark and atmospheric. Parker slowly builds up the song and revolves around the nuances and subtleties. It is arguably the highlight of the album.
Hectic Matter has signified his growth and evolution as an artist. That being said Parker is still a young man whose best work is most likely still ahead of him. Parker is taking some chances on this album and they pay off.
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