There are flashes of brilliance, of course, which keep some in thrall. Last year's "Serendip" was 27 minutes of its title, a slow burn of progressive house stuck in suspended animation for listeners to turn around in their hands and marvel at. But Amaranthine Reverie, a 47-minute EP spanning six tracks, tightens things up (relatively) and reveals that instead of a starting point, "Serendip" was an end—an artistic ideal that will most likely be ploughed until every single hearstring has been plucked, pulled and ultimately broken.
It's hard to argue with tracks called "Grasping Stars" and "Crash into the Clouds" without feeling like you're telling Barack Obama's children that someday they can't be President, and yet it's hard to shake the sense that there is something off as well. Somfay stuffs his track so full of information that while you can't help but hear the beauty whiling away underneath, you're also left with little room to breathe. These are blocks of sound that become tiring to listen to after a few minutes stuck in their claustrophobic universe.
Universe is the right word, of course: If nothing else, Somfay is operating in his own orbit where Holden is the Sun and Border Community stopped releasing records in 2005. But one hopes that someone'll eventually remind Somfay that you can't breathe in space without a spacesuit, and that amaranthine—which means "eternally beautifully and unfading"—is just a myth.