Thanos Chrysakis - Magma [Monochrome Vision - 2011]Magma, the seventh full length of Thanos Chrysakis (not including his many collaborative projects), is a swiftly-moving demonstration of this installation and sound experimentalist’s massive kit of electroacoustic skills.
Like many of Chrysakis’ works, the half-hour mark is wisely chosen as the limit to such audio works of this type which can easily extend far beyond their welcome. While lacking totally in structure, melodic content or repeated content, the piece relies upon an assemblage of movements which span the vast terrain of glitch, post-ambient areas as well as a wide variety of subtle field recordings, heavily processed natural instruments and “traditional” early electronic timbres.
Magma also lacks any particular emotive qualities but this is hardly a negative thing in this context. Instead of moods, the listener is presented with a museum’s-worth of auditory curios which proceed in truly linear fashion. Drones accompany minute data streams; high-pitched whine competes with a cascade of binary errata; snaky pulsations segue into something I can only describe as the sound of electronic flames of water. Despite the almost inhuman approach to sound presentation throughout the duration of Magma, the work is present-focusing and will no doubt engage the careful listener.
Certainly this short album (or is it an EP?) succeeds in its aims, yet I feel somewhat cheated by my inability to experience it within the context of an installation. More ambitious listeners may proceed as necessary to complete the overall sensory experience in their listening environment, but the less adventurous are certain to enjoy this work all by its lonesome.Scott W