It’s telling that in the last 12 months, words like apocalyptic have gained a real everyday gravity and function. The pandemic, ongoing political chaos and human rights issues against the background of climatic and ecological emergencies have made many consider, our planet might just be mortally wounded.
Perhaps one of the few glimmers of hope in all this, has been a vague sense of opportunity and rebuilding. If it was possible, could we start again from the beginning and avoid all the stupid mistakes we made this time round?
Our planet, reimagined as a newly born vibrant fizzing ball of possibility, seeps out every pore of Timelash’s new double album, A Morphology Of Wonders. 70 minutes of lush blossoming textures that form like neon edged tectonic plates. The album title and track names, all pointing to a form of geological and biological alchemy.
Timelash is a collaboration between Embassador Dulgoon, based south of Santiago in Chile, pointing towards Antarctica, and Corum, based in Maine, at the top right-hand corner of the US. The music is born out of time the duo spent together during a US tour. You can guess the 5,500 miles they are normally separated by, at opposite ends of the same landmass, has some bearing on the music. The New World no less.
Flutes and drums splash around seismic rumbles in Orogensis like an epic birth splattered in lava and crashing waves. Xenote Of Transfigurations takes rounded electronics and bounces them through a diamond amphitheatre. Seafloor Freeze and Convergence plots alien geometries slowly expanding into the void.
The 13 minutes of Neopangea knits into a superb mesh, slowly revealing a ghostly warping choir in the coral reef haze. The effect is staggering, a grooving rhythmic hydra of pure LSD. The whole mass intensifies further before soaking into a huge bank of bleeping interdimensional transmissions. We then drift into Panthalassa, tumbling into a metallic sermons and undercurrents.
Beryl Jungles of Spey is a shaman slowly modifying the settings of your situation, pulling you even further inside. Resurgence animates xylophone and distant horns and howling beasts, while Biota Hatching Center encases you in vibrating nutrient-rich jelly. Opabinias Dance of Solace sounds like a gamelan played by whatever an Opabinias is.
Perhaps given what’s preceded, the closer Pumpkinhead Soup could easily have been little more than an ambient smudge, and it would still be a blissful endpoint. Whilst it’s definitely the most earthbound track on the entire album by light years, the unexpected sunbeam of grooving dubby rock that slowly half rises up through the bubbles, excitedly reconfigures your brain all over again. If the album soundtracks a form of planet building, then this was the day something quite amazing happened.
Albums like Spencer’s Clarkes Avatar Blue or M. Geddes Gengras Invisible Architecture feel like they exist in a similar zone to A Morphology Of Wonder. Mapping out and sound tracking forms that are somehow way beyond how many would normally utilise or channel music. There is that odd computer game sheen, a sci-fi book you had as a kid type vibe, but revisiting this as a grown up now is superbly exciting. This crazy overblown concept is perfectly joined up thinking. It’s made for 2021 and will be something that continues to smoulder for months to come…
A Morphology Of Wonders is an event that’s head scratchingly good. Every title opens up a new wormhole on your nearest search engine and every sound helps describe a space that’s truly planet sized. In a time where the world outside is full of horrible stuff, here’s your ticket to float through something of staggeringly odd beauty. This isn’t music to meditate to, but a full-on psychedelic adventure.
Everything somehow makes sense here and the aliens are very hospitable.