While recording these six pieces for choreographies and compilations, eRikm was determined to “break out” of his normal constructive habits. As a result, the new album is vastly different from anything in his back catalog, and is easily his finest achievement to date.
Transfall reflects an uncommon form of composition, in which orchestration and electronics are inextricably mingled. While many artists mix these elements, eRikm splices them in the manner of Tricoli/Ankersmit and Jeremiah Cymerman. Even this approach might not be remarkable, save for the fact that the dissonant and atonal are also spliced with the consonant and tonal, and none lose the plot. Sparks fly, fluids leak, gears break, strands come undone, and yet the core holds, thanks to the intuitive actions of the engineer. eRikm is like Scotty, telling Kirk, “she can’t take much more, Captain” – then insuring that she does.
The skitterings and jammerings of eRikm’s music sound like what industrial music should have developed into, but never did. This music dares to go without drums, sprawls, or recurrent themes. While it bears the grime of a factory and the varnish of a concert hall, it belongs to neither setting; one piece even attempts to capture the cries of the elusive batfox (flying fox). When a piano note is struck (from either inside or outside of the piano), there’s no telling what note, if any, will follow; when a steaming, radioactive rush overwhelms the performers, there’s no telling which, if any, will survive. This constant state of unpredictability is the album’s greatest risk and its greatest asset. Even after repeated listens, its form remains elusive, camouflaged like a batfox in its natural habitat. Some albums earn frequent rotation because they are catchy and easily comprehensible. This one takes the opposite route, and as such is the greater triumph. As the construction noises of the closing piece echo in our ears, we realize that eRikm has built this architecture to last. (Richard Allen)