Ekoplekz – Unfidelity


[Reviewed by: Peter Marks]

With no notice given, Ekoplekz have a new album out. This time he’s chosen to explore the layers of sound generally avoided by most musicians out there. It is as though his time in eMMplekz has allowed him to further branch out into the experimental hinterlands he first let us glimpse with the Nunton Complekz; don’t be alarmed he isn’t inundating us with listless washes of noise which go nowhere. I’m almost hearing a conversation between himself and his equipment, sometimes it becomes difficult to know who is in control and who is merely the medium for transmission. There’s a definite late night electronic flavor going on here, the kind which makes you want to lock your doors and concentrate completely on what you’re hearing.

While the world outside goes about it’s business of gluttonous excess and insatiable greed, Ekoplekz strip away consumer culture’s nefarious designs to permit moments of clarity to permeate your mind. No, this isn’t some kind of meditative exercise he’s got going on with ‘Unfidelity’ it is more of a contemplative nature. Here, while the sounds percolate gently out of your speakers, you can breathe freely. Your thoughts are your own. His heavily effected beats mesh with a sumptuous arsenal of echoes and analogue devilry. Wondering how he does this? Same here. His discography is daunting but incredibly varied. He appears to be trying his hand at more concise arrangements in his work and I just am amazed by the results.

The IDM crowd might do well to pay a bit more attention to what he’s up to. Many of them just wander off in the dark, never arriving anywhere or leaving much of an impression. I’ve heard some of them play around with the kind of technical wizardry which Ekoplekz practices but they won’t commit themselves to the concept, while he, on the other hand, is quite happy to analyze waveforms and schematics until he gets what he wants. I’ve little doubt that he spends most of his time composing in the editing process. The placement of individual sounds and the way everything is so incredibly vibrant could not happen otherwise. Does he sleep? Are these tracks the result of what he sees while his eyes are closed… maybe that’s just me.

As with most of what he’s released, the title of the album is open to a lot of interpretation. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, is ever set in stone with what Nick Edwards puts out. Maybe his machines felt he was spending too much time utilizing them for other ends and pulled him back on point, maybe these were the results of experiments in his studio which he found too engaging to keep under wraps any longer. His release schedule is not so much one as it is a compulsion to create. People may scoff and say this is just more 70s inspired noodling but then they’d have to explain why this sounds absolutely relevant to the world we live in now.

If there’s any kind of influence going on here then it would be elements of Wendy Carlos’ score for ‘A Clockwork Orange’. Because this new album has a very mischievous and playful streak to it, even if it is of the rough and ready sort. The cinematic edge which permeates ‘Unfidelity’ is rather grand, it becomes overwhelmingly epic, making for some strange moments on here. Like a fine toothed comb ever so subtly going over ever wrinkle and rounded edge your brain has, Ekoplekz are indexing thoughts and collecting memories. As though an index finger gently taps you on the shoulder and invites you to lie back and fall into the arms of a luminescent, somehow benevolent presence in the waning light.

Planet Mu, ZIQ 338
LP/Digital 2014

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