Biemsix - Find Your Own Meaning LP (Symbolism)
So, despite being a long-time fan of Ben Sims’ ‘Symbolism” label and an even longer-time fan of his DJing, I must confess that Biemsix is a new name to my ears. Therefore, the only preconceptions I had upon opening this up for a listen were related to Ben and his labels.
Although some of my preconceptions were in fact correct, there were some surprising, fresh elements that came with this first ever long-player released on Symbolism, clearly justifying the album format on this occasion. The LP pulsates and quivers with discordant tones, snatches of melody and sucker-punches of thunderous bass albeit with a thin veneer of almost regal, eloquent, at times minimalist polish.
Despite being clearly influenced by Robert Hood, Jeff Mills and Claude Young et al., Biemsix refuses to let his influences overpower his own, personal voice which shines through, expanding upon the sound in multiple directions.
There’s a certain ‘interstellar’ feel to some of the tracks, “Peeps” being one of them, solidly four to the floor, the bassline and effects weave an intricate, cosmic web taking the listener out of their locked-down environments and on a trans-galactic voyage underpinned by a decidedly sweet, almost innocent warmth in the bass and chords, with strangely soothing yet dissonant harmonics.
The title track “Find Your Own Meaning”, deservedly serves as the nomenclature for this fine package with its twisted, distorted harmonies and ever evolving keys and bassline, ferociously interpolating to form a whole that is difficult to pin down – hence the title. Make of it what you will, the composer invites you to extrapolate your own interpretation of what this track, and this LP represent. “Clear” is one of my personal favourites from the album, unrelenting, raw and still, somehow with an air of innate suaveness. Obscure, unyielding mechanisms are layered one upon the other, and the resultant, shifting soundscape is both intoxicating and absorbing to say the least.
Almost industrial in nature you would, initially, think ‘Pot as Friend’ is possibly the most mistitled track on the LP (unless ‘pot’ here is in no way related to weed). And then, from nowhere – the trippy, out of sync, keys enter the fray, and the title begins to make, at least, some kind of sense, this is fresh – original, and ever-so-slightly disturbing. Love it. This one is going to kill people, but in the best possible way, of course.
‘Chemistry’ is yet another favourite, Biemsix’s trademark percussion delivers once again with an insistent, intentionally wooden hook wrapped up in some warm swirling lead synths and reverberating vocals for contrast – understated and all the better for it. Some late night business here.
‘Gonna remember’ will make you do exactly that. Nostalgic in nature whilst still firmly with one foot in the future, this track somehow pulls up an abundance of great memories from my clubbing days and is somehow unrelated to any one specific track I’ve ever heard before. Icy cool, driving, accessible and dripping with integrity – this one will be spun far and wide. The tortured sister of ‘Gonna Remember’ would appear to be ‘We Don’t Forget” - spawned from the same family this one’s a little ‘nastier’, slightly more up-tempo and hits more extreme frequencies than its sibling although nicely contrasted with some perpetually evolving pads and barbarous keys designed to drill their way deep into your memory.
When I review LPs, I really do try my utmost not to cover literally every single track – it is proving difficult with this release. “No Matter When” again brings Biemix’s icy cool ethos regarding pads and keys to build an infectious mixture that is both driving and elating. Echoes of early Patrick Pulsinger and Stacey Pullen abound here – but again, just influences.
This is no remake or cover – this is new, and dope - and I reference other artists here purely because I appear to be lacking suitable adjectives.
Closing the LP down nicely is ‘Lavender Town’, a rumbling beatless number – ghostly in nature with an underlying melancholic tinge. I am at a loss to understand how Biemix’s sound can be both simultaneously warm and uplifting whilst being so icy-cool that it is positively glacial in nature.
Miss this LP at your peril guys.