Ichtyor Tides - Mortisle Elytrion [Invidation - 2012]
Mortisle Elytrion is the first LP released by Ichtyor Tides, the experimental project of French artist Nikola Akileus. The combination of experimental music and poetry really shouldn't surprise anyone, as it seems everyone is an artist. Maybe they are and maybe I'm just sceptical when I sense pretension. Anyway, that's Mortisle Elytrion in a nutshell.
What is hyperbolically described as "mighty structures of glitches, forged in acidic lakes of drones," definitely falls a bit short. There are glitches and drones galore, don't get me wrong, it's just that they're nothing crazy, let alone mighty. That's not to say, though, that Mortisle Elytrion is a bad album. Would it have worked better as an EP? Probably. The songs on the album all feature glitchy crinkle dancing over lower synth drones. The glitch and drone is broken up a bit by simple crunchy beats on tracks like "PQRSux," "BM," "Suaval," and "Drongle." Most tracks feature French spoken word poetry ("PQRSux" features an interesting rapid fire delivery). I don't speak French, unfortunately, so I cannot speak of the quality of the poetry. The sound is amped up a bit on my favourite two tracks, "Soreilles Guines" and "Exiphannist Plunge." These two songs are a bit noisier and less, I don't know, samey samey as the others. "Exiphannist Plunge" is the beast here, clocking in at over 16 minutes. It feels a bit more grand than the others, and there's a really nice drift off quality to it. It almost reminds me of some Skullflower stuff. There is a hidden track, too. It doesn't have a name, but it's probably the best minute and a half on the album! There are low synth surges and it plays like dark ambient on its way to death industrial. If this is what is to come of Ichtyor Tides, I'm definitely all ears.
Sometimes LPs are a bit too long for the material contained. Songs sound the same and blur together. Mortisle Elytrion falls into this category. It works really well in the background, though. Slap it on, do some yoga, and drift off. I will check out future releases in hopes that the style loosens itself up a bit. Paul Casey