STURQEN / vÄäristymä “Atonia” C60 (Nervu)

Unpredictability. Couldn’t have said that better myself, Nervu promo copy, and if there’s one thing that’s unpredictable about me, it’s the use of said promo copy in my own writing. I’m not a fan of crutches, but there I go, using one.

Why isn’t that an issue right now? Because it’s a word I think we can all agree with and enjoy when it comes to “Atonia,” a split of vast electronic proportions that’s as philosophical as it is dangerously flammable. And it’s flammable mainly because of the instability of the sounds within, the volatile elements mixing it up and moving against one another. Not because I’m holding the tape up to an open flame (although I’m doing that too).

It’s philosophical because I always dive down that wormhole when a release moves my body and consciousness beyond the confines of this gangrenous trash planet.

Sturqen, a duo from Portugal (down old South America way), and vÄäristymä, Finnish brothers whose name I have not once typed out myself in this review (hallelujah copy/paste!), are of like mind, and the forces they join on this shared release are complimentary in their tonal and vibrational power. Sturqen’s side features two fifteen-minute tracks, “Metrologia Part I” and “Part II,” and throughout the duration you’re treated to ebbs and flows of mechanical influence, pulses and tones carrying messages in code. Is your brain able to crack it? Can it receive the information? It won’t if THAT’S your attitude there, mister. I see you with your head on your desk. Yeah, this is a classroom now. I’m teaching. 

If you think Sturqen requires an advanced degree in physics to figure out, wait’ll you get a load of VÄäristymä. Much more abstract and demanding undivided attention (well, Sturqen demands your attention pretty undividedly too), vÄäristymä’s side hops the rails of linearity and spirals off into some kind of unreality that mirrors this one but skips around the timeline a bit and creates feedback loops for maximum disorientation. Try to focus on the melodic and tonal structures. Try to capture the sense in the rhythmic skips. Try to understand why time is not moving correctly and things are happening again and already and before and during and later.

Unpredictable, flammable, electronic, able to warp the very fabric of space and time… doesn’t “Atonia” sound like something you want in your speakers, like right this second?