RHODE STRIXMAN – psalms (mute)
(Halley Labs, 2021-11-18)
If you think that Hypnus’ owner Michel Iseneld is the Grand Wizard of our beloved “electrogeek nation”, wait to know the eccentric and ultra colourful character behind the alias RHODE STRIXMAN. PC Games and plugins developer, speedcore producer, “electronic mad scientist”, member of the furry community, with more than 60 aliases, each focusing on a music genre from breakcore to electronica to ambient, and almost each represented by a fanart/cosplay creature; post-modern graphic designer, with dungeons in Reddit, Patreon, Mastodon, Fandom… meet Canadian artist Dave Remmler, whose gigantic universe crosses an infinite amount of borders.
Also well-known as “Renard Queenston” and as “Emma Essex”, the musician is “agender”, sharing this common point with Rrose. We mention this to explain the use of the pronoun “they” instead of “he” or “she” in the rest of the review, while it refers to one person only (although there are obviously many characters living inside “their” mind).
Queenston founded the label VULPvibe in 2006, which then became LapFox Trax in 2009, both projects being basically their playgrounds for their fun music. Things got more serious artistically with the creation of the extension “Halley Labs” in 2010, providing versatile music still but yet seemingly more meaningful. No matter which direction Queenston took musically, they have a well-established experience with the music tools and it’s with this know-how that the producer comes with “psalms” as “RHODE STRIXMAN”.
“Psalms” attenuates the dreamy side of STRIXMAN’s first single “The Mucus Flow” to play a deeper card. The second release of the artist under this alias impresses from the first track, with its subtle Max Cooper-alike percussions, its beautiful musicality and its progressive intensity. The second track, tainted with radio manipulations and intriguing rhythms, builds the hypnotic journey with repetitive sonic consonance. It gets more oppressive with the cavernous vibe of the next track, while the last one releases the tension with its ludic drums and its video game pads and flutes.
“Psalms” pleases for being a heritage of creativity, for provoking a gradual emotion, as well as lost childish memories and sensations. The release is associated with the sub-genre “Gorge”, conceptualising mountain climbing, with its secret codes and legends. The journey ultimately comes in our headphones like a little musical poem, showing the sensitivity of the author and building up a mystic wonder, silent but worth sharing out loud.
WRITING BY: CEDRIC FINKBEINER | 31 JANUARY 2022