Paul Jebanasam

Continuum

Paul Jebanasam is more than capable of creating living, breathing drones that gently insert themselves and then brightly glow, taking his fusion of harsh experimental and propulsive electronic music away from a state of inactivity and instead injecting it with a lively unpredictability. Sometimes experimental in being, the surging tones produce a sound that can only be thought of as alive and, as they coarse through the record, they splash droplets of cool, life-sustaining water over the face of the music. And Continuum has a long way to go: it employs sound to explore the spectrum of life, power and energy present in the universe. Her chakras glow and radiate with vitality as differing colours suddenly burst forth; a line of secret node points that could very well be siblings-in-spirit to a series of chiming natural harmonics.

The rocket-propelled opener fiercely fizzles as the countdown timer reaches zero. With an intense power, it lifts off to other worlds. It’s not long before the spectacular stars unfold, and as we see the colourful clouds of dust for the very first time, in reality they’re actually projecting images of ancient history. A galaxy that to our eyes appears no bigger than the palm can only be glimpsed at. These droning tones are seismic. Every chord strikes and shakes the ground, like a series of unstoppable meteors and comets that hurtle past this ball of rock on a daily basis, occasionally carrying a deadly trajectory on their stony wings of justice. Something like this once wiped out the planet’s Jurassic populace.

Even as the dim light of the Sun is obscured by a filthy cloud of rising ash, there’s still a sliver of beauty. At times, the music leaves behind a couple of fossilized remains; the second piece is as delicate as a splintered bone covered in a clump of dry rock. It stutters in and out, gasping for air, its last gigantic steps finding their resting place.

Humanity’s ever-present fragility and high susceptibility is also on display as the music teeters on the verge of extinction.

Sooner or later, it’ll all go silent. At multiple points, it comes close to crashing down. A quiet, vulnerable harmony is all that’s left, singing alone in this forgotten corner of the Milky Way.

Multiple tones rattle busily and with plenty of energy they collide at a furious speed. Snaking its way through the music is a strand of gas, clouding the electronic layers at differing times of the day. The music sometimes goes into hyperactive mode. Clanks and beats provide occasional glimpses of a concrete rhythm before they too face extinction. And near the end, sublime ambient textures slowly awaken; this is the sunrise as seen on another world. It’s a passive moment, a chance to sit back and admire the unfolding state of things; a rare chance to gather the breath. Continuum strikes a universal chord, one that sits between the frightening and the sublimely beautiful.

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