Aux Field – Square Landscapes
I often come to find new music via YouTube recommendations from various music channels. Aux Field’s ‘Square Landscapes’ came to me from the channel Tape Counter; also responsible for introducing me to the works of Jan Jelinek, Deru, Hiss Tracts, and JASSS. The channel operates with permission to showcase the music, and provides links to where the music can be bought and downloaded officially. ‘Square Landscapes’ grabbed my attention initially through the album’s glitches out, monochrome artwork – a combination of design by Graphic Surgery and direction by Evgeniy Anfalov. Choosing to listen to something based on it’s artwork (and maybe a little to the trusted YouTube channel) is an old fashioned way of doing things, regressing back to my younger years of being intrigued by a band or artist based on the imagery they chose to represent their sound. In this case, it paid off.
Aux Field is the musical project of Rezo Glonti; a producer and musician based in the Georgian capital city of Tbilisi. ‘Square Landscapes’ is a perfect example of the darker, rawer sounds I’ve been searching for these past few weeks, and demonstrates a delicate combination of textural and melodic approaches to synthesised music. Take ‘Unstuck’, for example; the album’s second track offers a masterful balance of deep and sizzling bass lines, gently fluttering arpeggiated patterns, and subdued resonant trills that don’t tire the listener.
There is a great sense of atmosphere throughout the album; a feeling of darkness and solitude is enhanced by the purposeful addition of electronic noise elements and offset delay effects. ‘Underpass 90’ contains an almost omnipresent mid-range drone that resembles electronic imperfection, yet acts as a perfect sonic metaphor for the imagery conjured by the track title. The use of dissonance and imperfect pitch are used generously within the album, serving well to grab attention and exaggerate a great sense of degradation. The large synth stabs that open ‘Memo’ open up the space needed to accommodate loosely moving arpeggiated patterns, scales, and unapologetic waves of filter sweeps before the entrance of the more beat-orientated ‘Paragraph’ enters. ‘Paragraph’ brings a welcomed uniformity in the guise minimalist electronica, providing the foundations for gnarly comb-filtering and suspenseful rises that lead to frustratingly brilliant anti-climaxes.
There are no moments of suspected ‘filler’ material in Aux Field’s latest; each track on the album holds its place from start to finish, morphing through the darkest depths of underground electronic music with an intended sense of abrasiveness. Drawing to a close with the minimal, pulsating ‘Fieldhead, Dear Friend’, ‘Square Landscapes’ has proven to be the perfect musical accompaniment for someone avoiding the relentlessness of a characteristically un-British Summer (me, since May…), and has me itching to dust off a few long-neglected synths inspired to create following repeated listens of this album. ‘Square Landscapes’ makes the first release on Moscow-based labelKotä in quite some time, urging a retrospective listening adventure through their back catalogue when time is available.
Aux Field – ‘Square Landscapes’ is out now on Kotä, and can be purchased on vinyl as pictured above, or as a digital download.