I’m lucky enough to have already had a taste of the peculiar and otherworldly universe woven by eNuminous & Archimedes, a mind-bending sojourn through the labyrinth of Mirror Music [Simulation Theory] that left me spellbound. But let me tell you, forewarned is hardly forearmed, not in this case. There’s no armour thick enough to prepare you for the immersive, perplexing journey that awaits within these sonic realms. And don’t even bother trying to conjure up any preconceived notions of what lies ahead. The best approach is to steel your nerves, take the plunge, gird your loins, as they used to say, and let the current sweep you wherever it may. That’s why, with just one album under my belt, I find myself eagerly anticipating what’s to come on this second excursion.
“The Great Machine Doesn’t Help [L’institut Pour La Conservation Des Formes De Vie Artificiellement Intelligentes]”—the unwieldy moniker doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but let’s just agree to call it “The Great Machine”—is every bit as enigmatic as its predecessor, and yet, utterly distinct in its own right. Okay, maybe it is a tad similar. Again, it is like the familiar musical forms have been turned inside out, stretched, and contorted into intricate sonic labyrinths, eschewing the confines of conventional musical patterns and structures. If those punk rockers thought they were rattling cages and smashing the system with their three-chord cacophony back in the ’70s, this would have blasted their tiny minds to smithereens.
Take the opener, “Voodoo In My Blood,” for instance. What begins as a seemingly conventional foray into cinematic soundscapes swiftly warps and contorts upon itself, creating a disorienting auditory experience. At times, it feels like you’re hearing two tracks playing simultaneously, one hurtling forward, the other running backwards—a sonic paradox that leaves you questioning your own sanity. Well, maybe that’s just me. But amidst all its idiosyncrasies and mind-bending complexities, it serves as the perfect primer for the wild ride that lies ahead, a dare of sorts, challenging the listener with a silent, “Think you’re ready for this? Well then, let’s dive in.”
From the eerie cacophony of “Shatterday,” whose by-line declares it to be a “drivin’ dub remix,” though I’d contest the accuracy of at least the first two words, to the cascading piano-led opus of “Benecia Lit By the Moon,” a song that gradually morphs into a more industrial sound, as if the software running a car-plant had decided to write songs in the middle of the night. Then there’s “Elegy (Silmarilli From The Emptied Deeps),” a swirling homage to the grandeur of Wagnerian epics as if the maestro himself had been tasked with scoring an H.P. Lovecraft film adaptation.
What truly speaks to the singular nature of this musical odyssey is the labyrinthine descriptions I must weave to even begin encapsulating the essence of a single track. Another testament is the stark contrast between the songs themselves, and yet, within the tapestry of this album, amidst all its multifaceted diversity, there’s an undeniable sense of cohesive unity, a singular body of work pulsating with a single yet enigmatic heartbeat.
eNuminous & Archimedes offer nothing short of a grand, all-encompassing spectacle. The tracks sprawl, lengthy and numerous, traversing vast musical landscapes with eclectic finesse. The ideas, often only hinted at by the titles themselves, are a rich tapestry of vibrant and diverse concepts. And given the rapid rate at which albums under this moniker appear for public consumption, there is always going to be something for every music listener. Well, those with broad minds and discerning tastes, those who like sonic adventure and creative avant-gardening. But what other way to approach music is there?