Following last year’s impressive full blossom of the evening, California-based r beny returns with another beautifully crafted opus fashioned from modular and hardware synthesizers entitled cascade symmetry. The album, which was recorded in San Jose but features additional field recordings captured in South Korea is a work the artist refers to as the “culmination of an intense and transformative year-long period” and “an ode to new beginnings and the disintegration of the past”. While that may be true creatively speaking, the listener will experience this album as a soothing immersion in a world of sumptuous textures; a warm and inviting quiescence of time as lush, shrouded, and remotely melancholic as Austin Cairn’s imagery of the Oregon coast on the cover suggests.
There is breathtaking, shimmering beauty here in spades on tracks like the titular opener, “cities sleep like seeds”, and “the sea’s sullen green” while the stunning “empty grids” and final coda “vestigial” break up layers of emotional sediment with the weight of their distorted edges. It is a rare to find to such a near-perfect balance of careful sound design, fine textural filigree, and satisfying gravitas. This is one not to be missed.
cascade symmetry was released as a pair of limited cassette editions each of which is now reportedly sold out, but digital copies remain available at a very modest cost for the beauty they will bring to your ears.