In a way, Egopusher reminds me of the past. Don’t know if that’s a compliment for the duo: the press release of Beyond pinpoints the album as a soundtrack for (in)possible futures. That makes sense. The future already happened. So, my reference isn’t that strange.
What past or pasts does Egopusher bring back?
First of all, that of the pre-covid19 club culture. Beyond is a celebration of optimism, confidence and anticipation. It reminds of club nights with maximum techno. Techno that, in contrast for minimal, doesn’t leave any room for individual expression but is so dominant that it dictates every centimetre or inch of the dance floor. A totally immersive experience. I love it.
Beyond also reminds me of the carelessness or even recklessness of the 1990s. The sound on the album is open and maximal. Grotesque, even. In contrast to Egopusher’s first album Blood Red (2017), there are no limitations.
Egopusher is drummer/producer Alessandro Giannelli and violinist Tobias Preisig, both living in Zürich. In the press release, Giannelli notes that the album makes him think of a soundtrack to a sci-fi film that would be directed by Sofia Coppola. There is also a familiarity with the esthetics of 2001: A Space Odyssey, probably one of the best know sci-fi movies. The movie is open, explorative, boundless and moody, just like Beyond.
In contrast to the maximal character of the sound employed by Giannelli and Preisig, there is an emphasis on details. Rhythms slowly change, maybe grow is a better metaphor. The blend of techno, trance and ambient is in that respect similar to the work of James Holden and his Border Community record label.
Beyond walks the thin lines between the club, trip, kitsch and contemplation. In the two centrepieces – ‘Re-Entry’ and ‘Elenor’ those elements blend together brilliantly. The synthetic sounding drums and synths and cliché hand claps match perfectly with the neo-classical elements.
The ambient trance of ‘Faint’ and ‘Sheen’ is like a baroque version of Wolgang Voigt’s GAS.
This is a beautiful trip into the past or futures that we once dreamt of.
Beyond by Egopusher is released by Quiet Love Records.