By: Daryl Astroturf
Ethereal and organic, “Experiential Topography” is the highly anticipated second release from Re:Evolution Media family member, Futexture. The EP is set to drop on March 20th via Critical Beats for the Climate, a non-profit label founded by psy-dub luminary Bluetech. Weaving intricate downtempo tunes with an impressively integrated conceptual component, complete with corresponding art pieces for each track; “Experiential Topography” is a rare find for true lovers of art in all forms. As with all Critical Beats releases, 100% of sales go to The Rainforest Action Network, which helps protect some of the world’s most critical and bio diverse forest regions from deforestation and commercial development. Paying homage to the raw power of creativity itself, Futexture’s signature squishy glitch folds neatly into the lush soundscapes over which his proficient mandolin playing dances, drawing the listener in to actively participate in a unique and singular experience of sound.
Track by track review of Experiential Topography: The new conceptual EP from Asheville, North Carolina based FUTEXTURE.
This track serves as an intro to each song, if you choose to follow the map given with the album. It’s an invocation, as the title suggests, and the only guide you have into your journey “into the unknown to grow new roots again…”
I love the steady build of the instruments behind a read of the invocation that doesn’t really change in intensity. It definitely draws you in and gives the words the power through the music rather than through the words themselves. Perfect for an otherwise instrumental album.
Inspired by the dreamlike aquamarine, water, and dusk, the meditative sage, and the sporadic bouncing energy of a rabbit. Listen while facing north.
This song gives you time to think and take in all of the little noises. The panning is very effective like thoughts swirling around your head, and although thinking can sometimes derive into madness, throughout the complex addition and layering of various instruments and noises, the vision never becomes muddled. It reminds me of reflection.
Inspired by barite, the earth, the night, a tortoise, and the direction south.
It sounds to me like a creation process at the beginning, like many ingredients being thrown into a pot by the witches from Hamlet. Around the end of the third minute, it comes out as a beautiful creature of the night; Sexy, soulful guitar and synth sounds emerge with 808 drums. Then this beautiful creature must return and make its own creation at the end of the track. It’s a slow building song, perhaps that’s where the tortoise comes in, but slow and steady wins the race. This is a standout track. So far this is two tracks that have begun with a theme, evolved into something entirely different, and somehow returned to the theme once more, better than before. I love the way this album and its songs are structured.
Inspired by Quartz, Tobacco, Eagles, Dawn, and Air. Listen to the East.
Perhaps I’m reading into it too much, but this song has a more “American” feel. Almost folk inspired, like it comes from the soundtrack of a film about the Jamestown settlement. Very hopeful, but off key, rambling, and growing bigger every second; the instrument choice here is decidedly old-school saloon band. I love the detuned upright bass and piano and the violin and harpsichord parts add so much when electronically reworked with such care.
Inspired by Moldavite, Passionflower, Snakes, Fire, and Day. Listen while facing the west.
The west facing and day setting, mean this is a track about moving forward, which is a great choice for the end of an EP. Although inspired by meteorite-formed moldavite, this one feels rather more grounded than the others until the final 30 seconds, which get REALLY cool and spacy. I love the use of tin drumheads, the upright bass again, and a chorus of wind instruments. Lots of little details make this track very cool, and it doesn’t stray from the signature Futexture sound.
This is a necessary addition to the album, as it cleanses the palette of all the oddness and super heady sounds of the previous four tracks. It’s a classical composition of orchestra elements that is super relaxing and lets you ponder. Play this after any individual track or after the full album.
Full details regarding the album concept, Critical Beats for the Climate, The Rainforest Action Network, and how you can engage in the creative process available at www.experientialtopography.com