Sonic Adventurer’s Consortium Vol 4 [HTX116]

“Sonic Adventurers Consortium Vol 4” is a masterfully assembled compilation of electronic music from Heterodox Records, featuring an impressive lineup of 17 tracks by a diverse array of talented musicians.

Enereph’s tract lulls you in and then completely shifts gears into a dark, yet somehow optimistic vocal performance cascading around subtle beats and gentle melodies creating a tranquil and immersive experience. It’s the perfect opening track to this collection – it makes me want to go to whatever future timeline this track represents.

“Chrome Apostate” is fun and gritty; an industrial-tinged techno track that showcases Toka’s innovative approach to electronic music. With its driving rhythms, dark synth lines, and pulsating bass, this track is perfect for swaying back-and-forth in the dark inside your apartment or hanging your feet off the side of Mount Marilyn on the Moon.

Enzo Caselnova delivers a catchy and downbeat drum and bass ear worm with “BLB.” Its infectious hooks, bouncy beats, and playful synths make it an instant mood booster, ideal for getting the party started.

“Dakanna Ridge Blues.” Production Unit Xero’s music is always full of everything we love: obscure samples that are always on the tip of one’s tongue, undulating melodies, and futuristic sound that somehow feels like the old world. Production Unit Xero skillfully weaves his tapestry of electronic chaos into a rich garden of sound.

Down with Madene” makes me uncomfortable. It’s simple, right to the point and evolves from a pestering heartbeat into a multi-pronged electronic reptile. You need to listen to this twice – after you’ve heard it once, you can appreciate the structure and simplicity of, in my opinion, the perfect stand alone track for a collection like this.

Zero Dagger feels like I’m falling into a cave. The deep bass hits and synth’y vocals bring this cave into focus and the dynamic interplay between dissonant elements and harmonious undertones leaves listeners wanting more of this experience.

This brief, yet impactful track by John Nap showcases a playful, quirky side of experimental electronic music. With its unconventional structure and unexpected sounds, Jimmybutthead keeps the listener engaged and curious about what comes next. Spoiler: lots of fun chaos.

Alien Pink Eye is a fun blend of eerie, extraterrestrial sounds and hypnotic beats. Jen Void transports the listener to a surreal sonic landscape, showcasing their unique tale. Jen Void’s vocals haunt this short piece and you always want the delay and reverb to stop (not really, I live here) so you can hear what they’re saying. In your brain, sending signals.

Space Force feels a bit like sound collage, but really it’s what happens when aliens make human music. These downturned loopy beats give me a sense of weightlessness and dread. There’s nothing better than a slow groove that makes you feel like you’ve been kidnapped by interdimensional demons. An ideal sound for exploring emotional uncharted territory.

Elrond’s Blipped Out reminds me of what friend’s mother used to say, “It’s biscuits and gravy. What don’t you like?” This is biscuits and gravy. Elrond lulls you in with a kind of brooding beat that turns out to be the bedrock of beautiful flutes and melodies. Just wait until 1:29 – this is a standout track.

This emotionally-charged track by Meagan Jane Marron feels heart-wrenching. No really, it’s got this fusion of haunting breathy vocals that leave you wondering what they’re trying to tell you. The raw vulnerability expressed feels unresolved and just makes me sad. Amazing track.

Deauth is like sonic bleach. It cleanses you and puts you in that happy place. Spednar employs unconventional sounds and chaotic rhythms to compliment their seemingly unconventional style. The sound is like a gentle Buzzsaw tucking in you at night.

Dimentia’s DeKonStrukted picks up where Deauth left off. Lots of everything we love – a clean melody, maxed out beats with lots of bass and structure. The mastering on this track is about as good as it gets. This is one of those tracks where you push the ❤️ on Spotify – more of that please.

Occurian’s remix of Chunibyo Love Poems breathes an alternate timeline into the original with a fresh and experimental twist. The reimagined track features a beautiful soundscape that gives you glimpses of the original. The chord progression on this leaves one wanting more and more.

PsyphonX is in your face. This track showcases Alexandrite’s talent for making subtle high-octane electronic music. It hits like a million channel changes at once into controlled chaos that just sounds really satisfying. Frenetic and uneasy – that’s how we like it.

Robert Tussian’s SPAM is chaotic, it’s a wave in a digital realm. The beats sit below the surface of the water, driving the tsunami further and further into a never-ending ocean of sound. A little haunting, but then it just hits hard. The ride’s almost over.

Like a lot of tracks on this album, this one makes me uneasy. Lair’s Bag of Holding’s is the skillful use of animal chaos and delayed fat chords will linger in the listener’s mind long after the track has ended. But I guess that was the intended effect of this final track?

“Sonic Adventurers Consortium Vol 4” stands as a testament to the power and potential of independent electronic music.

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