Producer Fisky provides a club sound with just the right amount of experimental playfulness
Bright percussion begins the opening track, the crisp nature of the tom and chirping hi-hat immediately instilling a sense of clean rhythm. Through the very obvious breaks and chinks in the drumwork, glittering synth begins to appear. Starting high and diving into lower notes, the arpeggiations writhe and twirl as sparkling dust billows within the fairly restrictive casing of percussion. As the track grows though, the melodies shed their chains and begin to coat the whole of the song in their dazzling film of starry sound. A fairly upbeat mood on this first track plays in contrast to album artwork which has a cold, biomechanical feel to it. The humanoid depicted appears deformed and distorted by some sort of jagged structuring worked into their body, but rather than playing on themes of macabre technological enhancement in inhumanity, the artist seems to be utilising the fascination and wonderment of technological advancement. The synth shimmers with a futuristic glow like Heinrichite, the percussion features very real drum sounds but they are chopped and quantized to an incredibly tight and calculated sequence.
This precise placement of drum sounds continues into Three Seven Ace as we are treated to an exchange between cowbell and synthesised tom. Again, the melody begins to bleed through. Initially being held up in the extremely high frequencies and cutting through like an incredibly sharp razor, gradually Fisky lets it gloop down into the mid-range. A hammering kick begins, exchanging blows with a tiny cowbell and other percussive sounds. The kick’s positioning brings with it that unmistakable club feel, the unrelenting pounding bringing about an infectious rhythm that is counterpointed with a myriad of tinny whistles and bells. The synth melody swirls about in a fairly relaxed way, Fisky pushes the sharpness up and down ever so slightly to squeeze as much juice out of the sequence as it will allow. Lulled by the gradual changes in resonance, everything suddenly refocuses as the synth is imbued with a fullness that wasn’t present before and a rising intensity. Suddenly the artist swaps it out, filling the void with heavy chimes that hit with an almost percussive impact. The chimes are mixed up with synth sounds once again, making them that little smoother and washed out. The sudden shift to a more rhythm-focused sound is intense, and is perfectly engineered by the artist through a handling of tension and catharsis.
A glassy kick and gravelly hi-hat unleash a fast-paced and crowded beat as Standalone begins. As the alien gunfire continues, a solitary voice begins to act as a metronome signalling the central point of the rhythm. From there, Fisky begins one of the most complex beats yet, and sends a bassy chord sequence slithering its way to the front of the mix. As a clearing forms momentarily, the chords saturate into a thick square-wave tone. The artist is constantly pulling us from pristine kicks and clean sample work into a wild torrent of high and low ends as they let the hi-hats and cymbals echo into infinity. It feels that when we lean too much over the edge and our mind goes numb from all of the sound, Fisky tosses us back into the middle of a very clear and precisely composed rhythm.
Prometheus brings about a standout moment on the EP. There is a more spacious feeling as glassy pads curl slightly and kick drums pound out a bolshie rhythm. Metallic chords begin to swipe and flail from one side to the other, travelling in a circle of thick delay. The notes rise and swoop like silvery wings over the reverbed hi-hat and calm pad sound. Something in the make up of the track makes dips in sound certain flourishes of frequency hit that little more distinctly. We have another heavy-handed reinstating of the beat, that has become a common occurrence so far. It feels as though there are a great many elements at play in the song. There is an icy pressure that phases throughout, the calming euphoric pads have the feeling of water, and the wing-like synth sequence gives off a sharpness akin to an oxidising metal.
A more natural direction is sought as we hear the chirping of owls and scuffling of another animal on Amanita. Fisky‘s melodies bounce off of tall trees and mossy forest floors. The track is led by an explorative bassline rather than the hammering of kick drums. As we find ourselves speeding through the lush greenery, we hear the deep throng of nature move in unison with the beat. The melodic sequences seem to sway and move with the breeze and the fluttering leaves of trees. They fall away, and Fisky backs up the forest rhythm with claps, pushing the sibilant crackling of flora through a phaser.
A chattering impact hits out a marching tempo, supported gradually by a snare that weaves its way into view. A back and forth sequence variating to a third chord only at its end, pushes itself against the wall of the mix with a fizzling intensity. The beat seeps in, Fisky choosing a more subtle approach for the closing track. A bouncing bass note joined by a fairly muffled kick impact. The fizzling chords take advantage of the lack of sound to burst their banks and swarm the mix covering it in sharp resonant noise. Fisky drags us back from the swirling torrent of sound last time as clear and finely cut chords signal the end.
Argo shares similarities with popular dance music, with the majority of the tracks having a beat and danceability that can entice a DJ to play it at a club night. But Fisky has achieved more than just this, the artist has worked in more experimental aspects. Be it flurries of confusing percussion, or intense manipulation of synthesised sound. The EP walks the sometimes difficult line between club music and experimentation, taking aspects of both and creating something enticing in various ways.