Many artists give this advice, but in this case it’s true: one must listen to this album loud. Physicality is one of the stated features; when one feels the bass vibrate through one’s body and hears the synthesized sounds travel right to left and back again, one is immersed in the feeling of matter. “Elemental Fear” jumps right out of the speakers, and provides the impression of drums, although there are none; these will wait until the second track, “Screaming at Brutism.” The listener becomes part of the piece, not only the recipient, but the conduit through which these signals travel.
Noémi Büchi may be new on the scene, but she incorporates elements of multiple centuries, name dropping four classical composers and six electronic composers. Her compositional technique splits the difference, as electronic sounds are layered in an orchestral fashion. The drums keep appearing and disappearing, but the sense of high drama remains. The cover demonstrates a mutability that is carried into the tracks. The appropriately named “Measuring All Possibilities” stops and starts while adjusting tempos and expectations.
At certain junctures, hearing becomes the secondary sense. The music may heighten the pulse, activate the synapses, or literally move the body. Between the drums lie large clouds of sound: a different gradation of intensity, but only from nimbostratus to cumulus. “Taking the Train With Mr. Shark” suggests a Bach concerto with harpsichord; “Prelude for Rational Freshness” swarms like baby bees on their first foraging mission. The album’s only down side is that the intensity of the finale is too high; the music ends, but the heart keeps racing. Ironically – or maybe purposely – the track that sounds best after the last is the first, implying that the shape has continued to wrap around itself, ever shifting, never hitting a dead end. (Richard Allen)