[sic] Magazine

The Secret Society Of The Sonic Six – Isolated Incidents (1.1/1.2/1.3)

I often get the sense of stepping through time when listening to The Secret Society Of The Sonic Six , thanks in no small part to their penchant for mixing spaced-out psyche and sci-fi effects with a vintage chic aesthetic. Even the alternative stylisation of their name – (((6))) – as simple as it is, manages to provoke images of old-school transitional screens, used to indicate that characters were about to be transported into another time or dimension.

Sonic Six’s space is placed pretty well at the jump, where the swirl can be slightly disorienting, but enjoyably so. Opening track, ‘Surviving The Scillys’, with its elongated and burgeoning tonal synth notes, sets a scene that stops just short of being eerie but definitely give you the sense that your surroundings are about to change.

From there on in, Isolated Incidents , a career-spanning collection of nine tracks (1999-2010) that brings together the trilogy of the same name, will give you plenty of clearly defined parameters from song to song, but in playing within those parameters themselves, Sonic Six also allow plenty of room to formulate your own ideas of just exactly where it is you’ve landed – whether it be in the grungy electronic march of ‘The Rack’, the ultra low, cool blue hymn of ‘Terminal’, or the more energetic disco-meets-80s-cop-movie-theme thrill ride of ‘Reservations’.

The transitions, it should be noted, are a whole bunch smoother than they ever made it out to be on TV. By taking a hyper-stylised and overall chilled approach to their music, the fusion of such a diverse range of genres (including jazz, psyche, disco, chillwave and industrial) makes for some surprisingly elegant synth-pop, which in turn makes the predominant Hitchcockian-slash-sci-fi pastiche chic rather than corny.

The slightly impassive delivery of vocals manages to project an aloof sexuality too, and though proceedings are certainly suave throughout, there’s also something of an arched brow and knowing twinkle in the eye of The Sonic Six. With a genuine sense of play within the music, I get the impression that, on at least one level, it’s all offered with tongues slightly in cheek and that I might just be listening to the musical equivalent of a double entendre.

On a technical level at least, Isolated Incidents gives a nod toward (((6))) past, as well as tracing their development through to the here and now, but in figurative terms, I’m still yet to decide on whether that sense of time travel is a step to the past, future or another dimension altogether, even after repeated listens. Not that it matters, really, as figuring it out is all part of the fun, and wherever (or whenever) this Secret Society happens to be, it’s definitely populated with a bunch of cool cats who have more than enough charisma to make you forget the constraints of time while you’re there.

~The collated Isolated Incidents release is available now through the band’s own blogspot.~

(((6))) @ blogspot

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