Review: Beauson – Reveries (self-released, May 7)

a2356172395_10At first blush, the cover of Beauson’s debut offering of “raw, non-binairy [sic, but I kind of like the typo here], unsequenced improvisation” and “uncategorizable, envoking [sic], electronic soul” could be an oversaturated photograph of that board game Mouse Trap or a screenshot of a devoted Roller Coaster Tycoon player’s crowning achievement, but when one looks more closely specific objects begin to reveal themselves amidst the visual cacophony: a hefty supply of keyboards, a Focusrite audio interface, samplers and wires and speakers, and… a toy model of a medieval castle stuffed with circuit boards? You’ll soon find that the image is equally ambiguous in its relationship or representativeness to the music of Reveries as it is on its own; that Markus Roemer and Roland Sauer make use of all sorts of electronics to produce their “luscious adventure-telling” soundscapes is clear, yet the actual process by which that occurs is anything but. Most likely assisted by the elevated compositional and improvisational opportunities offered by modern computer software, eclectic threads of looping sound events form structural bases that are neither rhythmic nor fully formless, instead maintaining a consistent forward momentum that helps the duo fulfill their promise of providing listeners with “living music” despite the deeply synthetic character of many of their contributions. It’s that delightful paradox that makes Reveries (and, to a slightly lesser extent, Floreana, a follow-up released on the same day) so unforgettable: whimsical tracks like “Poort” and “Beauford” reach toward the organic with interwoven plastic tendrils; plucky MIDI sequences make “Sobiat” and “Au Contraire” into peculiarly ominous toy-chest frolics; and “Nachtpanda,” in addition to having an amazing title, is one of the most intricately detailed things I’ve heard in a while, evoking the lush, complex interconnectedness of a vibrant rainforest with humble artificiality.