[sic] Magazine

SE – Epiphora

‘As tears go by’

Epiphora is a medical condition where the eyes overflow with tears and no doubt is meant to imply that here is music so gloriously effulgent you will be bawling your eyes out overcome with the glory of it all . The harsh reality is that this album is unlikely to emotionally engage the listener to that over wrought degree. And on the other hand the cover, featuring a gleaming metal syringe suggests something sterile and clinical. Thus we have the dichotomy of SE and Epiphora.

SE are the initials of Sebastian Ehmke the German creator of Epiphora and that sort of curt efficiency, as well as being stereotypically Germanic also too suggests level of implacable efficiency with no room for any of that emotional nonsense. That conclusion too would be erroneous. This is an album that for the most part skilfully slaloms in the fertile spaces between the two approaches often with beguiling results.

Opening track ‘Komplex a‘ is ushered in on ominous keyboards accompanied by brillo pad fuzz and chitinous clicks before the verdant synth pads fill out the sound. ’I Need a Medic ‘ has a more precise beat-based arrangement as indeed does ‘Null ‘ – a hypnotic segueing of Aphex Twin and Techno Animal. A random hint of drum & bass comes via ‘Androgenetic Bullshit ‘ but ‘Hitchhiker ‘ glows with the emotional resonance the albums title hints at. The same lustrous pan vision keyboards are scoured over with IDM rhythms and coarse effects on ‘aer-’ ‘No Need For Voices ‘ is just gorgeous and recalls the stellar moments on Brian Eno’s ‘Apollo Atmospheres and Soundtracks‘.

Concluding with two rather superfluous remixes Epiphora is none the less a beguiling and challenging listen. Sure it occasionally grates or even in one or two instances evinces a yawn but it constantly evolves and is not without moments of transcendental beauty. Just maybe the tears will flow after all though they remain purely optional.

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