Fis – From Patterns to Details

FIS - From Patterns to Details, close-up of a purple flower petal

Sounds emerge. Things emerge, crawling out of a fizzling, unstable vortex, the portal just about containing a distorted cacophony of voices which not only sing but scream their deity’s praises 24/7. Strobing, unbalanced rays of light come from beyond, filling the space with a flickering aura. “From Patterns to Details” has a strong, sinuous connection to spirituality (something incredibly rare in electronic music), which oozes out of the atmosphere, drunkenly spilling out its heartfelt confession like a sinner on his knees. It’s significant because it’s the first thing we hear.

Naturally forming patterns can be found all over the planet, and in nature herself. A subway passes through the veins of a leaf, spirals of clear water circle a bathroom sink, ripples echo outwards on the surface of a lake, and stunning designs litter a field that’s been written in the graffiti of trampled corn. The music draws inspiration from the universal constant and truth only to be found in these recurring shapes, lines and designs. In the process, “From Patterns to Details” creates a series of naturally occurring, symmetrical puzzles, shaped by pillars of stardust and jagged electronic remnants. Fis is just an observer, an occasional visitor, guiding the music instead of driving it.

In the environment, these naturally occurring, popular patterns make the most efficient use of space and surface area. In turn, the music is partly inspired by the artist’s work as a permaculture designer. There is no force or strict structure to the music’s design. Instead, it unfurls as it was intended, like a wild garden with wildflowers. Fis works with this landscape, this growing garden, rather than imposing himself on it, stomping over the grass and shaping it as he sees fit. As such, it’s a record of continuity and promotion, not disconnection or ignorance. We are chained to nature, ‘independently together’.

The music’s rinsed in an almost euphoric tone; a dark, bleeding bruise swirling around a free-flowing river. Nothing is predictable apart from the recurrence of the shape. Sooner or later, you get back what you give, and the music is paying back the load in spades. Fuelled by static and distorting into a television image that displays nothing but a screen of white noise, the buried harmonies struggle to break through. But patterns can and do emerge, circling in a vast whirlpool, never quite going under, but coming close… so close.

Dissonant and harsh, the electronic melodies weld themselves to the music, taking root and spreading like poisonous vines, and the music seems to segue between the all-too-human traits of serenity and violence. Nature has an unremitting side, too. When it needs to be cold, it is, doing what needs to be done in a ruthless fashion. The same is true in “From Patterns to Details”.

Like I said, things emerge. There’s chaos, and there’s order within it. One cannot be active without the other in attendance — yin and yang. Electronic weeds appear in a distorted and twisted shape. The quick-fire rhythms of ‘SeaPR’ rattle off a series of snapped shots. An electronic intake of breath mimics the sound of the surf and its own meditative inhalations, playing alongside the ocean.

Red-blooded and incredibly strong, the electronic, digital world lives within and beside the natural world; the two are interlinked, but the digital wants to draw even closer, until the electronic music merges with the organic world.

Subtext Recordings

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