Thursday 26 August 2021

Dark Ambient Review: Syfynetiks EP

Dark Ambient Review: Syfynetiks EP

Review By Casey Douglass

Syfynetiks EP Album Art

Artificial intelligence is a ripe topic for speculation, the questions of if, when, how and what will happen when it arrives, happily consuming the minds of both scientists and creatives alike. Nyctalllz’s Syfynetiks is a dark ambient space album that provides the soundtrack for what might happen if our own eventual AI made contact with the AI of an alien civilization, without our knowing it. It’s an interesting question. I mean, how would your phone or computer describe you and your characteristics to an alien race? Would you even get mentioned at all? Food for thought.

Syfynetiks contains three tracks, each of which feature a host of sci-fi electronic tones, beeps and drones. It feels like catching hints of voice through radio static while equipment throbs and pulses around you. It feels crisp and indifferent to the eavesdropper, but also rumbling, like the gates of hell might be opening up and there's nothing you can do about it.

The first track is Spacetime’s Crack and it embodies the feeling that I mentioned above. The rumbling opening is buffeted by soaring electronic beeps and sparkles. A rasping distortion rises and falls, like a demon gargling radio-waves, soon to be joined by a strange voice that seems to speak in a stilted, simulated way. This track feels jagged and droning, and is infested with radio swirls and squeals. There are hints of a feminine “ahh-vocal” around the midpoint, making me wonder if I was listening to the two AI’s beginning some kind of virtual fling. I hope that no one is being catfished...

Next up is Spirals of Time. This short track opens with a low buzz, one that sits in a space that feels windy and hollow, but in a simulated, digital kind of way. There is the sound of something spinning up and down, and a low drone. The soundscape feels like it’s boiling and gritty, and that it’s populated by a roaming, warping, electronic harmony. As the track continues, it feels more and more like it has a kind of inhaling and exhaling quality, and feels like it’s fizzing in the air. A strange, rumbling space.

The final track is Parallel Observers. This is a track of chiming tones and rustling static, one with a distorted, digitized impression of nature. It feels almost like being outside, but not. There’s a persistent jackdaw-like chittering in the distance and a low tone that bends and twists upwards. After a short time, a warbly, robot-like voice or tone begins, “dripping” echoes pinging off into some murky distance. This is another track that also feels like it fizzes and pulses. The chimes and echoes create a relaxing yet ominous space, and created a kind of “meditating on the Event Horizon” effect, for me at least.

Syfynetiks is a dark ambient album for lovers of space horror, bleak sci-fi themes, and the alien, magical feel of advanced technology. The three tracks on the EP all give the listener some fascinating spaces to explore, or to witness, and while you might feel quite alone in doing so, the idea that there are two AI’s conversing around you kind of means that alone is the one thing that you are not. Whether you matter, or are even noticed though... that is another question.

Visit the Syfynetiks page on Bandcamp for more information.

I was given a review copy of this album.

Album Title: Syfynetiks

Album Artist: Nyctalllz (Morego Dimmer)

Label: Zāl Records

Released: 6 August 2021