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Mike Storm - ’14 Of The 19 Worlds’ - Symbolism

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After having recorded a few LPs for Jeff Mills’ legendary Axis records, on top of multiple releases on various labels beforehand, Mike Storm delivers another slice of intergalactic futurism for the one of the sound’s fiercest proponents, and a damn fine DJ to boot, Ben Sims, on his more fearsome, abstract imprint –the mighty Symbolism.

Now, whilst comparisons may be drawn between Mike’s sound and that of the mighty Mills himself, I think a few points need to be made first. Lines need to be drawn.

First and foremost, Mills has, quite literally, defined a genre himself, within the realms of techno, a genre which - as yet - still remains unnamed, for obvious reasons, there is no single adjective that can encompass this – a kind of ethereal, spaced-out sonic vision, one of chilling alien landscapes, replete with cosmic winds, with glimpses of shadowy, barely tangible entities, flickering in and out of perceptible/audible range. This is the stuff of the outer limits, beyond the reach of everyday terminology.

People - artists are entitled to explore genres.

Enough about Mills and genres for now – Storm takes the baton here, he runs with it, into the night, the cosmos if you will - and he goes the full distance.

Mike Storm '307 Colors', off the LP

Mike Storm’s "14 Of The 19 Worlds" is released on Symbolism on June 17th, with a launch party at The Pickle Factory, London, on June 3rd.

If HP Lovecraft made music in tandem with Harlan Ellison, David Cronenberg, Alan Moore and Rod Serling – you might be getting close to understanding this sound – hence the lack of appropriate genre names. This can only be defined sonically. Maybe we can consider this release another attempt to entitle that which cannot be named?

The otherworldly snatches of insidiously augmenting ambience on display here intersperse cuts of aggressively dissonant drive, slices of, apparently, incompatible sonic ephemera, that when combined will undoubtedly hammer the most vigorous of dancefloor inhabitants into a state of fugitive elatedness. It’s a trans-dimensional escape route by any other name. Where it takes you really doesn’t matter. It’s the journey that counts.

It’s both gnarly and profound at once – and therein lies the beauty. It is possible to hold two mutually incompatible beliefs simultaneously, this is sonic dissonance at play, and it’s marvellous. The uncomfortable spaces between the acceptable and the unthinkable, bordering on the downright alien – that's where this lies, and that’s a plus.

So, there you have it... I did my best to describe this LP in words that I thought would do it justice, but many may think that I’ve crossed the line into vague pretentiousness, but that only reveals the limits of the written word, sometimes words are not enough.

In other words: This is driving, percussive, sledgehammer space-techno, with teeth, overlain with moments of blood curdling, haunting/spine-tingling dread that is most definitely not for the faint of heart. Ballsy, courageous and intelligent – you see? We keep coming back to the contrast, and that’s where this sits. Uncomfortably within the schism of an unnameable genre.

Sonic dissonance for 21st century dissidents. X

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Reviewed by: The Hi-Tek Lo-Life