The last gig I played before gigs became a vector for disease was in December 2019, a night put on by Bricolage label owner, Fragile X, in Manchester. I opened and it went pretty well, and then Sarmism played and, well - it's not that I then felt bad about my set, but I realised that this was what I wanted my next gig to sound like. It was an absolute barrage of beats, the air jagged with sharp snares set against bright neon melodies. Needless to say, I was super excited for his unsurprisingly excellent Lessons EP for the label last year. And he's further developed his sound on the more sprawling 'Wander Lands'.
While complexity and detail is to the fore, there's a smart pacing to the album, with the listener given time and space to decompress between the more chaotic crescendos of rhythm and synths. Sarmism knows when to slow it down and let the background details shine through. And those crescendos are something to marvel at with arpeggiated synths dancing around one another, layers of delightful percussion to get lost in, and syrupy basslines providing a loose tether to the endeavour. 'Day' is probably my own highlight from this collection with its insistent ever-shifting rhythms contrasting with more languid melodies and warm pads.
Throwback in its electronic lineage and futuristic in its aesthetic, it's another fantastic release from Sarmism and Bricolage.