Parallel Worlds is the work of Greek musician Bakis Sirros. He is a leading light in the progression of electronic music with his involvement in the development of modular synthesizers in Europe and as a teacher of programming to aspiring electronic sculptors.
Shade, his 5th full length release, is a dark and atmospheric journey. Other-worldly in its spatial context, it varies between oceanic waves of sparkle and pulse and lunar soundscapes where gravity has fled the scene and the blips and effect-heavy ambience freewheel around your headphones.
This album sits in somewhat of a netherworld in that it invokes the reverb heavy feel of dub, the drift of Eno and the more contemporary glitch of IDM. On ‘Towards’ Sirros even veers toward the more abstract end of Depeche Mode and Massive Attack, incorporating some foreboding melodies into his gurgling analog rhythms.
What makes this such a captivating listen is how Sirros melds virtual and actual analog sounds. It ensures the music cannot be placed in any one time. As soon as you start feeling a Kraftwerk flashback taking hold the dark and dense digital sounds of Autechre emerge from the mist.
Sirros has created an album that really does transform your immediate surroundings. As background music it serves its purpose well yet when you sit down and let the music take over your senses you enter a contradictory world where you feel both apprehension and calm. ‘Entities’ in particular is unnerving and comforting at the same time.
Parallel Worlds also nods toward the more experimental side of electronic dub that artists like Robert Henke and Gas excel at. The elements of decay, delay and reverb on ‘A Moment Frozen’ and ‘Ungreat History’ weave a digitally smeared haze that makes it sound like it is the last time these pieces of music will be heard.
Shade should reward anyone with a taste for classic 70s electronica and/or an interest in contemporary experimental music. It has an emotional currency that is not always easy to locate in much of the cold and barren soundscapes released in this field. As its title hints, Shade exists in the ghostly shadows. As the final signals disperse you will be left still wondering as to its spirit’s intent.