Wave Arising – (The) Rooted Sky

Wave Arising – (The) Rooted Sky [Ransom Note Records, 2024-04-26]


As highlighted in our feature on “Primal Bass“, the psychedelic side of the underground electronic music scene has been in a state of turmoil for more than a decade thanks to a league of artists who reject classification, but at the same time managed to set a bridge between the various aesthetics that compose IDM, from ambient and deep techno to UK Bass, drum and bass and/or tekno [ed. fast techno]

This movement includes well-inspired performers such as Wave Arising, Azu Tiwaline, Al Wootton, KOP 32, Spekki Webu, Woody92 and Modern Errors, and is intensified thanks to festivals such as Mo:Dem in Croatia and OZORA in Hungary.

More intimate, Dharma Techno in France is also worth mentioning as a well-respected festival and spiritual retreat of the psychedelic culture, with its meditation workshops and tribal music. It is particularly meaningful for Sebastian Vaughan and Kynsie, as this is where they gave birth to the project “Wave Arising” in 2021.

Together, the two artists push the artistic boundaries maybe more than any other, as everything they do inspires us to “break the chains”, from their creative process based on improvisation, driven by instincts and sensations, to the freedom perceptible in their eclectic music and the original formation of the duo itself, made of a producer and a dancer. 

If the last fact is eventually unconventional, it is at the same time so coherent: a fusion of music and movement is perfectly aligned, as it fosters an enriching exchange of inspiration and promises beautiful artistic and human transfers of energies. Added to the beauty of their art, it puts us in a positive frame of mind to embrace their vision.

As for the duo, on the left side, Sebastian Vaughan from The UK is known to us thanks to a magical live set he produced in 2021. He has been yet in the game since the early 90s, as a member of pioneering collectives in the hard-tech/tribe and dub techno genres. He relies on his intuition to guide him through all his performances, never prepared in advance. On the right side, Kynsie from France, half Reunionese, half Ivorian, signed one of our most creative charts last year. With an undeniable sense of swag, she skilfully improvises contemporary choreographies on the spot, in videos that she designs.

Video, vocals and dance by Kynsie

Video by Kynsie, dance by Alidera Dobet and Marie-Ruth Kienou

For us, both creators embody the essence of “old wise souls”, with their depth and humility shining through in conversations. Kynsie, for example, in a chat with us, expressed the sentiment “My body is my temple,” seemingly straightforward yet delving into so many layers of significance. Similarly, to the question “What is the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of love?” Sebastian Vaughan answered “To be true”… Then, referring to Kynsie: “But I am lucky I have found someone true, so we are both crazy.” Two brief anecdotes to exemplify what we know from them: they are impressive in their spontaneity, clearly honed over many years, and they are well-connected with their inner world, partly attributed to the regular practice of meditation.

Therefore, no surprise to read such an explanation about their moniker in a French interview: “It didn’t take long for us to realise that music and dance can be at the heart of the inner exploration we embark on through meditation. Thus, the name “Wave Arising” symbolises the ongoing journey we are on.”

Such a journey never ends, as suggested by some hints in their debut album, released last week on Ransom Note Records. The label is owned by the media of the same name, where Kynsie explained the title: “For me, “(The) Rooted Sky” is the earth-sky connection which represents the figure of the Tree. But above all, this release is a symbiosis of creativities where arts are intertwined, beyond styles, as a series of experimentations led by intuition.”

Intuition, intuition and intuition… Added to tracks named “Grow With The Flow”, “Music Without Chains” and “It Comes And Goes”, their motivation to break free resonates more and more within us. It is maybe time to explain how powerful such a mantra is.

Many spiritual philosophies, including Taoism which inspired the title, consider that one of the most beautiful sides of humanity lies in its ability to create any image in the mind. In a certain strange way, we however sometimes use it to create negative thoughts. Thus, we are anxious because “we believe in the anxious world that we have built.” It is forgetting that the mind is nothing but a psychological structure, resulting from years of accumulation, that we nourish compulsively. All experiences, be it joy or misery, pain or pleasure, turbulence or tranquillity, agony or ecstasy, originate from within. According to such spiritual thoughts, the only way out is in…

Therefore, “breaking the chains” is about recovering a certain lost freedom, by getting rid of all that stops us from being happy. “There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way” is a famous Buddhist mantra, inviting us on a journey from compulsivity to consciousness.

Wave Arising appears to be well-engaged on this path, artistically and humanly, in all simplicity…

Kynsie showed it in a recent chat, while sharing extra information on the album: “From the Dharma Techno project, we just see ourselves as a musician and a dancer who wish to share their insights without dogma, nor advocate a deep attachment to any tradition, even if we are influenced by some. With “(The) Rooted Sky”, we simply emphasise that music and dance can be a vehicle for spiritual development in the same way as any other medium, because if the “source” exists, it is within all of us. The only thing left to do is just to listen…”

With this spiritual context in mind, you are now invited to hit play on the duo’s beautiful album. In this inspiring masterpiece of art, Sebastian Vaughan designed impactful polyrhythms, processed original field recordings and nice aerial vocals from Kynsie, and brought an omnipresent alienating repetition and trippy melodies: everything is reunited to honour Trance in its deep meaning.

Through its deep tribal essence and authentic psychedelic “arising waves”, “(The) Rooted Sky” is a warm invitation to celebrate music for what it is capable of bringing mentally and physically…

WRITING BY: CEDRIC FINKBEINER | 29 MARCH 2024

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