Updated: Jan 19, 2021
Released in November of 2020, Isolated Cityscapes is the 10th release from Greek electronic artist Selfish Limbs. A short and succinct EP, this release is filled with clever usage of field recordings including those of the background drone of urban areas combined with all manner of odd rhythms and synths. The resulting product is a supremely texture-rich experience that leaves the listener with a cold and unsettled feeling.
The opening track, “Take In Its Noises,” is descriptive as it open with the sounds of all manner of urban sprawl. The sound of air brakes, low grumbles of engines, and traffic horns; all processed to make them almost unrecognizable and coupled with a slightly erratic rhythm. “Its Chaos” changes things up slightly with a steadier rhythm that morphs as the track progress as does the track the follows, “It’s Heterogeneity.” “It’s Cosmopolitanism,” the final track seems to break away from in a cleverly delayed fashion that begins with a loud, percussive that sounds as though it was pulled directly from a workshop or industrial. This rhythm morphs and is built up until roughly halfway in the track, when it suddenly fades and leaves us with a mournful and somewhat languid piano softly playing chords, leaving us on a slightly sour note that solidifies the theme of the EP.
Isolated Cityscapes is a superb EP that perfectly suits its name. Through a skillful use and processing of the sounds of the city, Selfish Limbs paints a vivid picture of as modern city once the novelty has worn off. It is a snapshot of a city that, while not abandoned, still seems to be devoid of life. A processed world operated by machines that, we, the listeners have been thrust into so that we can be forced to be passive observers. It is an experience that I would highly recommend.