Reliq – Life Prismic

Posted: 16 June 2017 in Albums
Tags: , , ,

Noble – NBL-221 – 15th April 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

Reliq is Serph. What’s the difference? Serph’s compositions are typically dream-like and utopian in their stylings, while Reliq’s work are edgier and more dance orientated. So says the press release. Life Prismic is the third album by Serph in his Reliq guise, and draws on music from a vast array of cultural and geographical origins for forge something

Life Prismic jangles and jingles, wows and flutters with swerving, loopy grooves and rippling rhythms which run into and across one another from perpendicular angles.

Plinky-plonk house piano tropes are bent and twisted through funnels of mellow head-nodding hipster dance vibes. The hyped-up chipmunk energy of ‘Ceramic Samba’ is nothing if not energetic, with flickering, clippy beats and hyperactive, pitched-up vocals. It demonstrates a playfulness at work, as well as a serious overdose of sugar, and it’s enough to leave anyone feeling vaguely giddy with the surging uptempo headrush.

Gentle, bleepy chillout zones are conjured with in between spaces, with xylophones and lad-back beats creating moments of comparative tranquillity, and ‘Morocco Drive’ introduces a range of strings and woodwind over a drifting synth to create an enigmatic, ethereal and exotic atmosphere before a frenetic drum ‘n’ bass rhythm powers in.

Each track bursts outward and reaches in multiple directions over its course: there’s nothing predictable about any of the structures or arrangements. Jazz licks, samples and other vocal snippets, bhangra beats and abstract incantations are all whipped into the same mix as thumping 4/4 dancefloor-orientated rhythms, and ‘Rain No More’ manages to pack in a low-down and dirty funk mid-section into its eclectic hybrid form.

It’s rather difficult to know exactly what to make of Life Prismic. In terms of ideas, it’s an explosive riot. That said, some of those ideas develop into recurrent themes over the course of the album, which in some respects diminishes their impact. But with 13 tracks and a running time in excess of an hour, there comes a point where it feels like overkill. No matter: in smaller chunks, Life Prismic is an entertaining listen.

Rwliq - Life Prismic

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