Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Siriusmo's electronic tunes expand his boundaries and maybe yours

March 2, 2011

I listen to some, but not a large amount of, electronic music. It’s safe to say I enjoy it, although I may not be the best guy to parse the ever-mutating strands of dubstep.

I do know this, though: I ended up with a Siriusmo track called “Let Me In!” somewhere along the way, and I love it. It has a playful attitude toward electronic music without giving in to being cheesy, as well as megatons of bass. On the strength of those two characteristics, I checked out his debut album Mosaik.

From the very get-go, he flexes his playfulness; the intro to the album is him false-starting on a synthesizer, with an audience becoming less and less enthused (even to the point of booing by the end of the intro). Then he launches into the opening track, and it gets real.

The all-encompassing bass is still present here, as well as his overlay of synths. The percussion element is toned down throughout the album, giving Siriusmo more room to play around with his melodies. And there are a lot of melodies here; there’s not as many samples as I expected, nor did I miss them that much. There are a lot of moments here that transcend mere club-thumping electronic music and just are solid pieces of music.

This is an up and a downside; by venturing out of the expected zones, he subjects himself to peers outside the normal set for music of this type. If you’re an electronic fan just recently branching out to other moods and feels, you’re going to love this. Moody downtempo gets its due, as well as some pensive indie-rock (if you replaced the synths with guitars, of course). If you’re looking into electronic music from outside it, you may be a bit underwhelmed. The sounds are solid, and the moods are right; but it’s missing a human element that makes Portishead more than just a slow, dark band.

It does help, however, that the album is 67 minutes long. If there are parts in Mosaik that you dislike, there’s bound to be more parts you enjoy. While no track here catches my attentions the same way that “Let Me In!” did, that really wasn’t the purpose. Siriusmo set out to make an album here, not a collection of singles. And in that, he succeeded. It’s up to your particular set of musical tastes to determine whether it will fit into or outside of your palette. But Siriusmo has held up his end of the deal in making a solid album with a personality, divergent moments from said personality and good flow throughout those bits. I like it.

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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