Material Object – Telepath

Posted: 20 April 2023 in Albums
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Editions Mego – 24th March 2023

Christopher Nosnibor

Editions Mego have since forever released ultra-niche but eternally-fascinating exploratory works. Since their inception in 1994 as MEGO, before transforming into Editions Mego, bearing eMEGO catalogue numbers, the label has given home to pretty much every significant and emerging artist working in the field of electronica given to abstraction, minimalism, glitch, and the more experimental side of things. As such, this release is a very comfortable fit in the catalogue.

As the bio details, ‘Dismantling the acoustic to feed the electronic, Editions Mego presents Telepath, the new album by Material Object. Born out of a single improvised recording session with a lone Violinist, Telepath is a startling album of future electronic music, resulting in an LP of unique and timeless tracks that reimagine a classic sound for an endless future.’

Nothing about Telepath sounds remotely like a violin in any recognisable sense. Even the long, soaring tones and strong-scrapes which sound like a violin sound, in context, processed, abstract.

It’s all about the process, of course, and it’s the literal processing and manipulation of sound which renders the output so far from the initial input. The results are interesting, to say the least.

To return to the bio for context, Telepath is presented as ‘Boldly departing from his previous canon of largely ‘ambient’ work, Material Object’s Telepath renders itself out as something much stranger, something more spacious, more subtle and gradual. Moments of bouncing minimalism meet moirés of delayed pure tones phasing in and out of resolution, giving way to a series of strobing foreground gestures arranged and offset in disorienting landscapes which scatter themselves asymmetrically amongst crystal pools of reverb.

There are moments of deep, rumbling ambience to be found here, but it’s certainly not the album’s dominant feature.

‘Enter’ isn’t quite microtonal in its focus, but does very much narrow down to an extremely small sonic spectrum in order to interrogate minor changes and the relationship between notes as they resonate and bounce off one another – and that focus is intensely concentrated, remaining fixed for some nine and a half minutes. It sets the stall for Telepath overall: the fifteen-minute ‘Hyphae’ flickers and clicks as sounds bat back and forth at a rate of rapidity that’s tension-inducing, particularly as the click-clack becomes overwhelmed by a bubbling cloud of dense sound yet remains persistently audible.

Structurally, the album alternates between longer works and shorter interludes of a couple of minutes or so: these serve, I suppose, as the sonic equivalent of palate-cleansers, and they’re necessary in breaking up the vast sonic swaths of hyper-focussed detail as interrogated over five minutes or more.

It may seem a contradiction, but while focusing microscopically on the most minute details, Telepath also covers a lot of ground. It’s all about contrast and contradictions, and arguably these are the foundations of this intriguing and often quirky work.

Following the twitchy, processed pings of ‘Thermo’, the eleven-and-a-half-minute ‘Exit’ is the perfect bookend to stand opposite ‘Enter’. And as the album leaves us reflecting the whisps of mist left in its trails, there is a hanging sense that there is something yet to come. From among the shadows, Telepath presents us with an unexpected sense of insight, both outside and in.



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