One particularly interesting facet of αίών’s work is his attitude to the glitch. Instead of treating it as a malfunction in the transmission of sound, he wields it purposefully. As soon as we stop perceiving the glitch as a symbol of error, we unlock the ability to appreciate it. Smooth electronics emerge from serrated grunts, quivering in the confines of solitary moments until the glitch lifts to release them, like a theatrical rolling of r’s at the beginning of words. In fact, the whole of Correspondances steers clear of the expectations of certain sonic symbols – ambiences are truncated solitary minutes instead unravelling over long durations; tensions refuse to alleviate themselves, snubbing the insistent request from bass drum loops; rhythms fail to form into smooth circles, lurching around on rhombic wheels that clunk and stall in their shameless asymmetry. There’s something ultimately cryptic about αίών’s work, leaving me navigating dead ends of expectation and foolishly devouring every dangled promise. In order words, I have to turn off my autopilot and actually listen.
The record often sinks into those fusty basements of underground techno, where bass frequencies congeal into darkness and loops hit their head on low pass filters. On “Province Statique”, resonances drift in from both organic and artificial sources – clanging metallic objects melt into waves of digital feedback, forming an ambiguous pool of corporeal acoustics and digital hallucination. Yet Correspondances regularly thrusts its head into the light, as per those viscous ambient swells and glistening chimes of “Chemins Secondaires”: voices flicker past like mobile phone conversations whizzing through the air, as αίών pushes back against the expectation that the track should gather to a louder, more convulsive denouement. Instead, it loiters in uncertainty, forgoing the presentation of answers in the knowledge that dwelling on the question – as posed by these vapours of noise and little trinkets of musique concrète – is quite enough.