Review: Temple Maps – DEC15MBER 1: Cryogenic

Temple Maps - CryogenicWires are everywhere. Splintered rubber casing, multi-coloured junctions of cable. Temple Maps makes no attempt to conceal the mess of process, lifting off the outer casing to reveal a spaghetti of wires and manual soldering, allowing me to trace each sound back to its source within one of a number of taped-up battery packs. Within the pixelated synthesisers and crude samples of Cryogenic, I hear every bubble in electric current and every metronomic flash of circuitry light. I hear the hands of process throttling the figure of intention; grand dreams reduced by the reality of minimal means, with cinematic rumbles of ambient electronica distilled into the potential that resides inside a cheap circuitry starter pack.

The record pulls upon various influences from the world of electronica, transposing them into stacks of jagged digital block. “Ice Cream Headache” is a nightmarish instrumental hip-hop track, with notes pulsing like warning signals on sinking submarines and tinfoil noise scrunched up inside an off-beat tremolo. Binary hurricanes whirl through the hydraulic stomp of “C.U.D.D.L.E.S.”, whose industrial rhythmic vigour stands in direct opposition to the wistful flutters of melody (as painted by kaleidoscope of butterflies). Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the record is how it teeters of the brink of becoming immersive; the stereo edges are constricted in a manner that makes the music feel distant and “boxed in”, yet the bass frequencies plunge deep enough to drag my head amidst the wiring and metal edges, pushing me amidst the circuits until cables loop up my nostrils and over the back of my neck. Am I inside Cryogenic or just watching on?