RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

CD Feature/ Nokalypse: "Ocean of Inexistence"

img  Tobias

Themis Pantelopoulos is a modest man. So modest in fact, that he has spent the last ten years with fanatic listening, before arriving at his first release as a Solo artist under the cloak of Nokalypse back in 2005. Even though modern tims seem to dictate that wherever you’re going, you oughta get  there fast, there are certainly a couple of benefits in allowing things to mature – finding your own style instead of copying the other cool cats around for example. In Pantelopoulos’ case, it has also allowed him breathing space to set up his own label, Triple Bath, and to do things just the way he wants them.

So while “Ocean of Inexistence” is no debut in the strict sense of the word, it is one in spirit. Here, the Greek eclecticist is allowed to roam the corridors of his surreally illuminated musical attic like a little child on its first curious journeys through the house (only difference being, this is a very big house). Themis has experienced the techno revolution and the explosion of “big beat” in the early and mid-90s just as much as phases of adoration for stadium rock, ambient and classical music. But it is his ongoing fascination for Progrock and Steven Wilson’s “Porcupine Tree” in particular which have put a stamp on this album. In five complex compositions of medium (10 minutes) and extensive (23 minutes) length, he reconciles melancholic piano reverb with burping and bleeping acid, juxtaposes shadily gliding drones with rugged, but melodious industrial and proves himself as a master of both elegant transitions and raw breaks. The intellectual concept behind the work, which is tangible at every stage, from slightly pretentious titles such as “Droid events of gnomic relevance” or “Space exists as far as you don’t” to the breaking-down of every single piece into several interconnected parts, has however not translated into mere head music. “Ocean of Inexistence” offers just as much food for dreams as for thought and doesn’t require you to study music theory before listening. Its surprises stem from subtle sources – the confoundingly seductive channel switching of the opening “Poetrig – Duality of Singularity” or the way the closing “Aggrauche” constantly changes tonal colours and leaps from sound to whisper and silence.

This is music for concentrated listening from tip to toe. Don’t even try to put this on while doing the dishes or getting up. It’s headphone music, too, with myriads of shimmering details appearing behind the already delicately textured surface. An ambient-made vision of what Progressive Rock could sound like in an empty Mars probe on discovery mode, this has the potential to please everyone with an open ear and an ambitious palate. It should also get rid of Themis’ modesty – this was under serious consideration of becoming “Album of the month”.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Triple Bath Records
Homepage: Nokalypse