Some Truths – Bliss Abyss
Following from his recent Bass Clef releases with both PAN and Alter, London based musician Ralph Cumbers presents a new album of material from his Some Truths alter ego. Bringing together strands of house, techno, fractured rhythm and anthemic modular synthesis, the album demonstrates Cumbers’ vision as one of experimental music’s most singular voices, adeptly distilling strands of the familiar and abstract into a series of tonal and percussive collages that effortlessly navigates the balance between stark functional electronics and a playful psychedelic humour. Bliss Abyss highlights Cumbers’ position as an artist embedded in the lineage of British pioneering synthesis, whilst filtering these technological and esoteric histories through a razor sharp dancefloor sensibility and a defiant ear for both intricate construction and dynamics, moulding contorted evolving structures and tense shards of rhythm into oscillating synthetics and expansive dubbed out coma. At the centre of the production process for Bliss Abyss is the resurrection of a broken Roland TR606 drum machine combined with a eurorack modular system. The combination opened up a rhythmic vista for Cumbers that was recorded onto 25 tapes that were then repeatedly recorded over multiple times, creating imperfect palimpsests as sound leaked through from layers of previous recordings. This sits as the percussive bedrock for an exploration of acoustic modelling, and the uncanny potential for synthesis to both mimic and depart from the real.