Review: Daphne X – Transactions In Time


Five petri dishes of electronics in cyclical stasis, produced during the first lockdown in Barcelona, Spring 2020. Most of the movement here occurs on the micro level, as synthesisers ping against eachother or chicane between steady pulses. Polymetric junctures are produced as each element adheres to its own mode of time; individual instruments repeat indefinitely, yet due to the metric misalignment the whole is always changing, bulging on one side then the other, held in a sort of respiratory standby. What can we deduce from these experiments? The absence of onward movement feels like a prompt to simply observe without judgement – to suspend the scientific impulse to understand. Perhaps these closed loops operate on a bespoke internal logic that we wouldn’t comprehend anyway.

At times the record feels like a glacial cast of minimal techno, particularly on 11-minute closer “Exciting Vertebrate”, with pointillist harmonies splashed between the sweep of a robotic searchlight. Both “Mirror Light” and the title track centre on juddering bass pulses – the former accompanied by the jousting of plastic straws, the latter featuring what resembles a wand scraped across a large metal spring. “Immortality For All Birds” is the record’s beautiful anomaly, like looped duet for feedback and cuckoo clock, receding and approaching as if traversing the spectrum of dream fidelity. And perhaps our relationship with dreams offer a solid precedent for Transactions In Time – earthly chronology is suspended, and we’re brought into something strange and unfathomable, yet internally coherent and perfect somehow.

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