Traversable Wormhole‘s Regions of Time is exactly the sort of thing I’m into these days: beat-heavy, deep-groove instrumental electronic music with an emphasis on long pieces. All of the eight pieces are longer than six minutes, with “Rotation Frequency” hitting the 7:33 mark. None of them have as much as a single vocal yip. This is full-on, large-scale, muscly, instrumental techno bliss.
These pieces all inhabit a similar sonic world, and as the band name and title imply, it’s a very sci-fi world. But this is not whooshing-space-ambient spacy. This is dense, punchy, hyperspace-intensity work. The low-end thumps are scrubbed of fade and often equipped with short reverb: in their ideal form, the bass hits on “Geodesic Motion” are like punches in the best of ways. The rest of sonic palette is rattling digital percussion, tightly-constrained synths, and careful melodies. Picking out individual tracks in this record is not as good as listening to the whole thing through in a row; I can tell you that “Massless Fermions” has a big ‘ol four-on-the-floor thump that’s particularly effective, but on its own it’s not quite as good as hearing it in the context of its prior and following tracks. The whole thing genuinely feels like traveling through space on a very fast ship toward an uncertain (but probably awesome) place/event.
Regions of Time is not an album that goes much for subtlety: these are big, powerful pieces that work a minimum of parts into a maximum of payoff. The album starts without much fanfare and ends suddenly; it goes full-bore for its full run-time, then stops. It’s an engine that’s either on or off, and it’s really, really good when it’s on. If you’re in for a 40+ minute ride into a deep, dark, sci-fi space, Regions of Time will take you there, no questions asked. Highly recommended.
Regions of Time is out November 15 on Sonic Groove Records. –Stephen Carradini