Earlier this year I had the opportunity to review The Desolate Sound of Extinction by Venn Diagram, which to my ears had some of the freshest experimental electronic music being made at the moment. The album was an encouraging release and only a couple months later we are treated to another release called Morphology 1.0, which is a smorgasbord of music. It is composed of odds and ends that includes some new original tracks and remixes. On Venn Diagram’s Bandcamp he states “Morphology 1.0 is the rounding glory in a triptych of releases starting with Hunab Ku and Desolate Sound whilst still hinting at a future direction for Venn Diagram's material.” In other words he wanted to recap some of his previous work and give us a bit of a preview of what might be in store for us in 2014. As you might expect The Desolate Sound Of Extinction worked better as an album (sequentially) from beginning to end but Morphology 1.0 has some songs that are just as good if not better than his previous material.
Morphology 1.0 starts off on the track with “Soma:Redux.” He creates a juxtaposed canvas of instrumentation where a slow jazzy bassline gets bombarded with micro movements of percussion. The micro in the song is where my enjoyment stems from. In the same way when you look at painting from Alex Grey and are amazed by the detail is the same way your senses are delighted when listening to the nuances in this song.
The first couple of seconds of “Caduceus” sound like what you imagine a vacuous universe to sound like before a surplus of clicks, clacks, pings and other elements mimic the sounds of a celestial drum kit. Venn Diagram successfully weaves in and out of motion much in the same way Burial does. As the song progresses it feels like a continuous piece that evolves than devolves rather than having separate parts. “Kodokushi” is one of the strongest tracks melding psychoactive Aphex Twin type drum programming with ominous, warbly pads that pass over you like a fog.
“Miasma (Little Birds Remix)” is a bit funkier than the original lending to a beat that is actually quite danceable. The backbone of bass and drums provides a consistent grove rather than an interchangeable landscape that was conceived on the original. Both versions are successful at creating an engaging song. ”Stereospread - All My Life (Venn Diagram”s Vanishing Point Remix)” utilizes some rarely used vocal samples that are cut and manipulated throughout the song.
This album may serve as a great entry point for someone unfamiliar with the work of Venn Diagram because of the diverse material. It showcases some of his strongest sounds and certainly has me looking forward to his next release.
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