France’s electronic sculpture artist Sound Strider recently dropped a new EP, Occult Electric, on Red Tent Records.
Sound Strider is the musical project of Sam Waks, who, along with Ghost In The Chill, founded a new label and production company, called Red Tent Records. The underlying concept of Red Tent Records is to span the rift between man and machine, soul and matter, and acoustic and electronic.
Explaining Occult Electric, Waks says, “This release explores my relationship with chaos magic and the occult. In some sense it is about the search for a new way of being unbounded by the strict codes of monotheistic religion and/or scientific materialism.”
Waks’ fascination with electronic music started around 2005. He became part of the Sydney Nu Skool Breaks scene, performing with Atomic Hooligan and Bass Kleph. After taking a degree in sound engineering from SAE, he worked at Trackdown Studios, experimenting with bush doof sounds.
In 2013, he unveiled Sound Strider, eventually releasing five EPs and performing in France, Germany, Australia, the U.S., and Morocco, sharing the stage with Fine Cut Bodies, Dreems, Boom Shankar, and Master Minded.
The first track on Occult Electric is “Helpless Cogs,” which opens with spoken-word hazy vocal effects and swirling synths flowing into spacey harmonics accompanied by polyrhythmic percussion. Complex sonic textures spiral and swoosh with exaggerated delicacy, infusing the tune with an industrial/mechanical shamanic savor.
“Hail Eris” opens on a psychedelic-flavored trap groove, grinding on the bottom, while tight eddies of color flash and sizzle up high. The mood and feel of the tune is akin to chaotic enchantment from a movie combining Dracula and The Iron Giant.
“Plague of Wizards” blends an industrial groove with pale, emerging energy and non-earthly magical tones. A cavernous bass line and throbbing kick drum propel the rhythm at a measured pace, as phantasmagoric hues stream overhead. “Embracing Chaos” travels on glitch-heavy percussive beats, forming a stumbling rhythm that escalates to portentously imminent vocal harmonies glowing with surging pigments.
With Occult Electric, Sound Strider delivers a mixture of haute sonique and rococo textures of mystical innovation.