Today we review an album that pays tribute to this amazing tree. Serph is an experimental composer from Japan who usually focuses on a joyful, euphoric sound. Hyperion Suites is different, according to the biography. Personally I haven't heard from this artist before, probable because I rarely listen to this kind of music. Not because I don't like it but mainly because there's so much different music to be found and this is quite different from what I reviewed before.
Serph seems to move somewhere between Olafur Arnalds, Boards Of Canada and Kid606. Compositions with a classical music feel are supported by electronic percussion and hip hop beats. Other elements from trance, hardcore (techno) and breakcore are being used to enhance the experimental atmosphere. The whole sounds danceable but I wouldn't know how to dance to it. Opener 'Hymn' is a beautiful piece of modern classical music enriched with electronics but what happens next is a lot weirder.
This Japanse artist seems to be influenced by jazz, something that can clearly be heard on a track like 'Happy Turner'. The trumpet gives the music a hint of pleasure but also a sense of isolation and loneliness. The songs evolves into a mutated house tune which is pretty weird. 'Weird' is a decent word to discribe the music. These are not higly energetic dancefloor fillers but music you have to get used to, a bit like jazz indeed.
In fourteen songs Serph takes us on a strange trip to this enormous redwood tree. We can almost feel its endurance and its solitude shining through. In a song like 'Wireless', the solitude is enhanced by a far away piano and some repetitive analog beats. Even when the melody sounds joyful, the bizarre percussion brings the exact opposite. Often reminding me of acts like Autechre, this beats and breaks give the music an alienating effect.
In all, Hyperion Suites is an excellent IDM album with some great songs of which 'Alcyone' is one of my favourites. With elements of jazz, hip hop and electronic dance music, Serph has created a highly versatile album. Once again, this is something unlike most of the things we review but that's the best thing about this job. This is a nice discovery that will meet my media player a lot of times in the near future.