Just when I thought I’ve heard of everything comes F32, The Path Less Travelled by timeofhex aka Cissi Tsang. Tsang is a photographer as well as a musician and found a way to combine both of her artistic endeavors. According to Tsang she makes “music by converting photos into hexadecimal data, then converting the data into notes.” F32, The Path Less Travelled is based on photographs she took with a F32 aperture taken at Yellagonga Regional Park. I’m not sure how this process works but either way it sounds awesome on paper.
The music is made on a laptop but it doesn’t sound like an electronic album. It has more in common with world music. A large majority of the instrumentation is percussion. I heard things like tablas, bells and much more, which when combined make kinetic songs that fill you with energy.
Even though the songs were edited with 1’s and 0’s the music itself feels incredibly organic. It’s music you could imagine being played in the middle of the desert right before ingesting some peyote. The first track “The Path Less Traveled” is different from the other tracks on the EP in that it contains a vocal sample. I’m not sure exactly sure where the sample is from but sounds like a recording from ‘30s or ‘40s. It creates a creepy, ominous feel to the music. Tsang layers a field recording of rain and percussion on top of the sample.
The second track “The Wheel” is a dynamic track that is more engaging than the first. It moves fast with a lot of variation and riffs with mystery and momentum. The best comparison I can give would be to Shalabi Effect. “Cries In The Trees” combines what sounds like the horn of giant ship in the distance, tablas, bells and manipulated chants.
Tsang closes with “The Skies,” which is the most dark and atmospheric sounding out of the four songs. It has a dreamlike quality and less movement but is as engaging as anything else on the F32, The Path Less Travelled.
Even though I find Tsang’s process fascinating it wouldn’t matter if the music weren’t good. Luckily, that's not the case. F32, The Path Less Travelled can stand on its own and it’s something that’s worth your time to listen to.
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