Updated: Jan 28
Experimental artist Malarki released his most recent album in early September on Error Grid Records and this six-track EP makes for a fascinating trip. From start to finish, the pounding & repetitive rhythms drive the album forward while providing a backdrop for other sonic content that either provides a much-appreciated soft melody or borders on atonal screaming. This intricate combination creates an experience that grabs you at the beginning and never lets up enough to allow you to relax.
While the entire EP should be enjoyed as a full-length experience, there are a few moments that stand out beautifully. Divergence, track number two, is one of these stands out moments. For five and a half minutes, the listener is entranced by a haunting melody that continues throughout while the sounds of the background slowly build up over the course of the track until they completely overtake the melody and threaten to drown the entire track until abruptly fading and leaving only the haunting melody that began the track.
The next moment that particularly leaves an impression is the very next track, Kilonova. This track begins at a frenetic pace and only becomes more intense throughout the course of the next eight minutes. The pounding rhythm of this track grows more intense as additional sounds appear to reinforce it while providing little to no counterpoint. The rhythm is the only point. As the track progresses the track begins to slowly increase in tempo as well, creating a sense of urgency that grows into a frenzy and eventually panic as the tempo hits impossible speeds. By the end, the rhythm speeds up to the point of being unrecognizable until hitting a brick wall and stopping.
X7e4 is a borderline exhausting experience that rewards the listener with a somewhat pleasant and calming finish. The pounding rhythms interspersed with haunting and sometimes gentle melodies can excite and confuse creating a wonderland of sonic experience that is best enjoyed on high-quality headphones and followed by a stiff drink.