The Alchemical Theory – Komorebi

The Alchemical Theory – Komorebi

(Affin, 2021-07-28)

Behind The Alchemical Theory are three Italian “musical chemists”: Kill Acid On Space, Unclear and Øyvind. The first one, like his alias suggests, definitely has a foot in the cosmos, producing masterful ethereal layers on top of well-designed down-tempo drums, notably through his superb “Electronic Explorations” series of singles (recommending the fourth one in particular: epic). The second “chemist”, Unclear, recently impressed us with a massive banger on the last NODE Recordings and has a coming electrifying release on Artscope by the end of the month. Last but not least, Øyvind is no one else than Subosc Records‘ co-owner, a well-known label of our scene, behind the resounding EP “Embodiment Of The Will” for instance, by Mike Parker and r²π.

Three heavy-weight artists, three close friends, bringing a great dose of talent into one project. Joachim Spieth signed the trio on Affin after having noticed their mystical album on Annulled in 2018. From the band’s collaboration with Spieth came the first EP on his atmospheric label, “Fog Over The Lake“, with deep sonorities and effervescent jams, inspired by a visit to Loch Ness in Scotland. “Komorebi” sounds like a sequel to that first EP, shaped in a seemingly similar spirit, but this time focusing on Japanese culture.

Understanding what makes the relationship between the three artists “alchemical” is certainly essential before playing any track of the trio. From our readings and from what can be sensed musically, the cement which binds the three techno enthusiasts together artistically is first and foremost a deep long lasting friendship. All coming from Bari in Italy and knowing each other for a long time, they came to the project very naturally, while learning the use of the production tools more and more together. They found out that, with their respective skills and knowledge, they were complimenting each other pretty well, on top of sharing the same musical tastes. Their creative process varies from working separately to starting from some random jams, the second approach being the one which, musically, reveals the trio’s great friendship, in front of any attentive audience.

On our side, we discovered the extraordinary talent of The Alchemical Theory while watching their live set in the beautiful nature of Italy, dedicated to Monument and representing – for us – a key event in the atmospheric techno culture, not to be missed:

The video shows the band’s favourite gear, such as the Elektron Analog Rytm MKII and the Roland TR 8S, handled by Unclear on the left; machines that might have also been used to produce “Komorebi”, which also sounds like the result of some jam sessions. 

The first track “Ukiyo”, deep and complex, perfectly combines the various layers which compose it, and by that demonstrates the trio’s high complicity. It’s not what matters for the listener: the track creates a connection, from its human touch, subtle and timeless. It’s not an easy connection: the piece being complex, it requires some time to explore, needs to be visited and revisited. It’s a positive note, as one power of “true” art is precisely to encourage a comeback. It’s worth it here: once the connection is set, the listener dissolves into the loop, with little chance of returning back to reality.

The second track plays on another floor: after “Ukiyo”‘s profound mind game, “Yugen” initiates a downward spiral, from the mind to the body. The tribal sonorities, felt in both the percussive and the melodic layers, maintain the connection high, while the groove operates its effect on the legs and launches the trippy dance.

“Komorebi” kicks off with intriguing sounds and rises a wonder, before fading out slowly to mark the end of the journey, “for our greatest despair”. Three tracks, it’s not a lot, but the experience has potentially been richer than what two times longer releases sometimes bring.

Let’s keep such consideration secret, as we hope for The Alchemical Theory to come back one day with a whole album again, for the sake of our “sensitive ears”.


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