Versylen - Radiance


Something meaningful is happening. Versylen is trying to tell you something *important*. Are you paying attention? Are you listening?


'Radiance' is a defiance of expectations. Bright, soulful pads are expanded on with incredibly intricate, precise percussion. Melodies are often lead with quick cut vocal samples. Some elements drift in and out of tracks subtly while others are introduced and cut with violent abandon. Nothing progresses quite the way you expect it to in 'Radiance', yet at the same time it all feels right, like watching a divine plan unfold before your eyes.


While defiant, the 5 track collection is not adversarial. No part of the music feels like an attack (perhaps save for one playful jab in 'Paradigm'), instead it feels like Elliot Ferguson is using exactly as much misdirection and force as he needs to get his message across while simultaneously retaining kindness for the listener.


The message is *important*. 'Radiance' carries a tone of quiet desperation throughout its run time. I often feel like I'm being warned of some existential threat, or being anxiously told the solution to a problem of which I am not even aware. There is melancholy in this music, but it is of the active variety rather than the passive. A barrage of attempts to solve the issue, a drive to keep moving despite a lack of understanding from one's fellows, a refusal to let adversity have the last word.


This is bigger than a person's struggle though, bigger than the struggles of any one person. There is a sort of divinity at play here, implied by the naming schemes and the bright, ethereal, even angelic tone this collection takes on. 'Radiance' sometimes seems to function as a “top down” perspective on humanity and its monuments. A timeless glimpse into our very essence, the vices and the virtues in equal measure.


I've focused on the emotional tone of 'Radiance' up to this point, but it would be a disservice to you if I did not mention just how enormously enjoyable it is to spend time with these 5 tracks. Ferguson has given us an absolute masterclass in production with this piece, specifically as it relates to his out of this world drum work. There is so much variety here, so much soul and so much consideration given to every tiny detail in this music. You'll walk away from 'Radiance' having felt like you've learned something *important*, and also like there's no better way you could have spent your time.

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