Dreams are the cornerstone of A Sagittariun's work. His music is a misty pastiche of the past, recombined into creative new wholes that are both strange and familiar. Fond UK rave memories are patched in with ambient, IDM and techno—sometimes the fusions are coherent, sometimes they're bizarre. A Sagittariun records are designed to engage the body and the mind and impart something more than aural stimuli. Mystic properties are always at play, but never so obviously as on his new album.
Put together in stages (not unlike his RA podcast), Elasticity rewards repeat listens from start to finish. An otherwise distinct musical flow is interrupted by a series of "transmissions"—samples of dialogue from the likes of Terence McKenna, Alan Watts and Robert Anton Wilson—all put in situ with dreamscape ambience. The messages vary but the subject matter is the same. "Transmission From Jesse" is part of Jesse Jackson's 1988 Democratic National Convention address, inciting us to face reality but "never stop dreaming." "Transmission From Terrence" is a McKenna provocation to reclaim your mind from popular culture, while "Transmission From Alan" is a classic irrational rationalisation from Alan Watts. They're all about the mind and challenging our ways of thinking. In the context of Elasticity, they're like small electric charges that jolt us into a concentrated headspace.
The music comes from a melting pot of breakbeats and Artificial Intelligence-era electronics. The tracks all combine tough and smooth sounds, so only the doses vary. "Composition" and "Slowdive" are particularly warm and romantic, while something like "Blim Burn" is angular and agitated. Then there are hybrids like "Chapter & Verse," which begins with dream speech from Videodrome, before kicking into an otherworldly jungle number. "Telescopium" does the same thing but instead juggles surly acid until turning towards downtempo and alien signals. Without the transmissions, Elasticity would sit alongside Dream Ritual; with them, we're transported beyond his last album to a realm of self-healing and self-improvement.
Sun / 29 May 2016
01. Architect Of Your Existence
02. Blim Burn
03. Transmission From Jesse
06. Transmission From Terrence
07. The Naming Of The Names
08. Chapter & Verse
11. Transmission From Alan
13. Resurrection Of A Memory
14. Transmission From Robert
15. Black Starliner
16. Transmission From Myrtle Avenue