You stand before a mirror, your reflection returning your gaze. You lightly touch the surface, and a ripple swells from your finger and expands to the edges of the glass. Suddenly, you feel a forceful push from behind you, and you fall into the reflective liquid. You awake and find yourself in a labyrinth within a vast forest. Mirrors are at the end of every corridor, and each one is a door leading somewhere new in the maze. Listen to the sounds of the labyrinth . . .
When the elements of composed orchestration and improvised experimentation come together and harmonize in the music creation process, few things are more beautiful. Euclid is the newest full-length from Bay Area composer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. This highly imaginative artist has crafted a glistening record split into two juxtaposed sides: one filled with lightly rhythmic, joyously organic songs; the other, deeply ambient.
There’s a distinct kaleidoscopic feel to the first batch of tracks. The lively synths and buoyant percussion dance in front of the listener, constantly shape-shifting in pattern without the weight of cumbersome foundations. It’s worthy to note that Smith recorded the album primarily with a Buchla Music Easel, a synthesizer as vibrantly colorful as the sounds it emits. Her ethereally shapeshifted vocals embellish with a finishing touch.
The other portion, the collection of “Labyrinth” pieces, resides in another headspace entirely. These are wandering clouds of murky ambience and trickling melodies that gradually fall into orbit with one another, only to drift apart as gently as they came together. Both of these halves are wonderfully captivating experiences. If you’re seeking vibrantly colorful experimental/ambient electronics, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)