Beta Consciousness — Synesthesia

We mostly know Frank Rumpelt through his recent solo releases on the Icelandic label Móatún 7 (where his work is published under the names of _Nyquist, Frequenoid and Battery Invaders) and a couple of duos with Lee Norris including 2xirtam, Norken + Nyquist and Metamatics & Nyquist. Nevertheless, this is only the tip of the iceberg. His discography is quite long and branched out into a multitude of projects, a part of which (for instance Echtzeit and Silver Planet) began already in the 90s, back when Frank used to play a moderately soft and intelligent kind of techno. Among all that diversity, Beta Consciousness is probably the most calm and soothing incarnation. Frank has appeared twice under that name on the mega-compilations Nagual (where every artist contributes not just a single track, but rather adds an entire EP to the box set), and now he has compiled all of those tracks while adding five more, which resulted in an entire hour-and-a-half album.

The compositions on Synesthesia could be split into two categories. The first one (that includes Scope, Sentiments On Demand, Equanimity Due To Insight and Memorandum) is music that finds itself in between ambient and berlinschule, a kind of music that radiates an aura of the 90s classics like Syzygy, Mysteries Of Science or the albums of Ralf Hildenbeutel and Oliver Lieb on the label Recycle Or Die. The second category is a mixture of downtempo, abstract electro and IDM, which means that the tracks are more rhythmical and rather diverse in terms of emotion. There is cold and detached IDM here, there are compositions in the spirit of the label Elektrolux (Moments Are Passing By, Audionom), there is music that would easily fit in a 2xirtam album (Finding My Soul), as well as a kind of ultramelodic "electronic romance" with a rather dense arrangement and comical keys that bear a long portamento (Synesthesia, Far Zenith) quite close to the Labyrinths by Namlook and Lorenzo Montana. Just as usual, the best tracks can be found somewhat closer to the borders between all of those things: for example, Use All Your Senses combines a slow Elektrolux kind of beat with the atmosphere of ambient techno of the early 90s. All of it combined, despite its rather convincing duration, can be easily listened to in one breath, which is a big success for the artist and the label.