Napoli born and now based in Athens, Panos Kyveleas somehow manages to balance his sound design and production with visual scuplture work and a day job as a pharmacist. Three years on from his preceding ‘Market’s CD/DVD collection on Quetempo, this third album from Kyveleas as Biomass ‘Electrozali’ sees him increasingly working with sampled traditional instrumentation as source material, in this case the Cretan lyra, a bowed stringed instrument. For the most part, the nine tracks gathered here see Kyveleas working in predominantly downbeat / ambient territory, with distant traces of dark cinematic atmosphere surfacing amidst a glitchy dub / downtempo aesthetic. Opening track ‘You Must Log In To Do That’s provides an apt encapsulation of this approach, with moody processed string drones building an engrossing sense of rich atmosphere, shortly before dark, electro-dub beats and bass pulses rise up gradually in the mix to drive things towards their conclusion.
By contrast, ‘Altamura’ sees Kyveleas working with treated vocals and looped hand percussion, creating a dizying backdrop of echoing tribal polyrhythms over which skewed Cretan lyra strings dart and swirl amidst sudden scratchy burst of white noise and digital detritus, before ‘Near End’ scatters tight hiphop rhythms and swirling looped lyra strings across a backdrop of sampled astronaut chatter, in what’s easily one of this album’s most impressively ‘widescreen’-sounding moments (keep an ear out for the chaotic whistling as well). Elsewhere, the title track sees Kyveleas reaching for the sort of motorik journey fashioned by the likes of Neu! As streamlined, repetitive rhythms flit away towards the horizon amidst flickering traces of guitar and whispery hi-hat traces, the whole track curiously calling to mind ultra-stripped back blues at points. While at just 39 minutes in running length ‘Electrozali’ comes across as teasingly short, it’s impressive to see just how much ground Kyveleas manages to cover across the seven tracks here.