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Trig - Double Single Review: Entity & Player 67

23 Mar 2023 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Trig is the musical moniker of Christchurch based artist Michael West, formerly Michael Aisuru, formerly Sick Cycle.

After using computers and a few synths to produce music for the past 22 years, Michael has chosen to give up the computer and DAW and focus on live performance via drum machines and modular synthesis.

He makes heady and varied electronic music. Music that stands up to active listening.
There are lots of changes and variations in Trig's music. It's not content to just trust your mental state will be sufficiently altered enough to make new patterns out of 7 minutes of the same sample. Nor does it just feed you the same build-up-and-drop dynamic 3 times and leave.

Trig
 morphs and undulates - often fairly subtly - around a melodic axis in surprising and delightful ways, using striking and stirring tones and textures. The result is work that feels well matched for a headphone session glued to a desk for several hours focusing on an important project in the early hours of the morning.

Entity and Player 67 is a double single release.

Entity starts with what sounds like an eastern vocal sample, but YouTube comments reveal it's Trig's friend singing backwards. The track has a calming yet active feel. It sounds action packed yet makes you feel hyper focused and zoned in.

Then it cracks into transformer noises, lasers and synths. A highlight is the detuned bell sound that pops in every now and then to finish off a measure.
Syncopated high-hats play against the hover-bike racing synth melodies, building up steadily until, at the end there is a noise that does not sound like a pinball going down a drain, but still makes me picture that whenever I hear it.

The second track sounds like it's moving through different vaults or rooms in a complex.
The first 2 seconds of Player 67 feel like it's gonna be super dark, but then the main synth comes in and it feels very bright. After that, though, a super deformed and crushed voice comes through - soon followed by choir voices singing ominous semitone notes.
This is what I mean by the way Trig morphs his music. There are small contrasts there that combine to create texture, rather than just bouncing off each other like black and white.

Amongst all the unstable intervals, there's a chord progression that ends up where it starts, so it feels complete and satisfying.
There's a faint voice at one point I can't make out, but I swear I can hear the word palagi at the end.

One of my favourite passages is the panned tick tock choir noise. It's so tense, it feels like a discouloured Alice in Wonderland.

That stress gives way to a whole new room. a sleek, groovy dark space that feels like a greenlit laser tag hall. Elements from previous parts of the song start to mix into this new room; the voices, the choir, but it still holds off from becoming chaos.

The music subsides again, then sets up a new, less frantic, but still very tense atmosphere.
Then that satisfying chord progression returns from way back in the song and sees us through to the end.
Player 67 is a massive trip and Trig's approach to music is something I want to describe as Dirty Clean. That's how it feels to me.
Like a perfectly sanitized warehouse labyrinth, but all the lights are out so you're still afraid to touch anything. That's what Trig sounds like.
Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Trig

Trig is the musical project of Christchurch, New Zealand based producer Michael West.

After using computers and a few synths to produce music for the past 22 years under the names Sick Cycle and Michael Aisuru, Michael has chosen to give up the computer and DAW, and focus on live performance via drum machines and modular synthesis.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Trig

Releases

Present Tense
Year: 2023
Type: EP

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