17 November 2017 (released)
27 December 2017
Cosmosis, the third LP this year from electronic soundscape guru, Zenxienz (pronounced 'zen-science') is a triumph of electronic craftsmanship and as cliche as it might sound, a journey deep into the mind. The album serves as a meditation, not in the sense of sparse pan flutes and isolated Tibetan singing bowls but rather with a dense pulsating tapestry of conjoined sounds. Like finding a sense of tranquility amid the light speed modern world. The Hong Kong-born producer (née Cameron Williamson) spent his formative years in the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i, a tropical land of wonder that no doubt inspired his fantastical worlds of sound. Now he resides in Los Angeles and the combined experiences of his different homes seem to have deeply imprinted themselves on his writing, creating a truly unique trans-pacific style. Japanese anime musical environments mix with North American EDM beats, mystical instruments from India and Indonesia intermingle with hard driving DnB breaks. The result is a wall of sound that disrupts your daily flow in the best way and lifts you into a transcendent space.
The opener 'Flutter' peaks your curiosity with a cascade of rubbery trumpets that eventually come to flap like hummingbird wings which then merge into wailing synths like gulls calling from the edge of the sea. A steady beat swells in and all manner of whirring, twinkling and buzzing synths flourish like stepping through a cave into a jungle paradise. Then comes the sitar, the harbinger of light to guide us through this newly discovered Shangri-la. The track dissipates in the breeze like the pedals being blown from a dandelion.
The reedy beginning of 'Aya For an Eye' has the vibe of a Southeastern Asian wetland under bright moonlight. A vocoded siren voice keeps you on the right path while things buzz and swarm around you. Old spirits emerge from the night and dance in front of your eyes. 'Aurora' crackles with a feverish energy. The wooly ripping synth, straining to break free sits at the centre of the song amid an uneasy cacophony of rising sound. Flutes visit momentarily from trees offering sympathy like onlooking birds. The sitar returns to once again instill a mystic air.
These are just a few small cross-sections of the album described by one person's imagination at that time. Cosmosis has an endless number of worlds to explore contained inside. Time and time again on repeated listens, the album continues to engross, inspire and surprise. It's near impossible to not be drawn into a kind of hypnotic state while listening. Zenxienz has created something really special here.