There’s something pulverizing and tactile about The Psychodynamics of Self-Realization that, to me, gets to the heart of the album title. With any kind of real self actualization and realization, there’s a physicality to it that too often isn’t discussed. Once you start to see yourself, you start to feel yourself too. DarkTwaine’s latest stitches those threads together with tape loops, samples, synths and field recordings into a murky, submerged voyage into the furthest depths of your psyche.
Most of the time it’s difficult to discern what, exactly, is happening on The Psychodynamics of Self-Realization and this is one of its strengths. “The Power of Will” is a haunted, decaying monument to lost memories being consumed and torn apart. Synthesizer lamentations poke out of the caustic sonic fog only to be dragged back by ghosts mourning the end of self-delusion. As the longest piece on the album, it slowly works its way into your bloodstream, like a virus desperate to take root and flourish. As it bleeds into the percussive-heavy closer, “Active Fantasy Life,” the veil is lifted and everything holding you back evaporates in a cloud of angelic synth leads and bright metallic chimes.
Broken machines rumble to life on “Heat Circulation,” an opener that feels as though it’s gently cracking open your mind, ready to do a bit of rearranging. Samples are obliterated and reformed into new shapes, mumbling over heartbeat-esque rhythms and stuttering growls. The dichotomy with “Chaotic Good” (quick mention for how great DarkTwaine’s song titles are!) highlights how good both tracks are with the latter following a path into new age Madlib zones, flowing out tones that are pretty and eerie simultaneously.
So much is happening on The Psychodynamics of Self-Realization that it’s easy to lose yourself and feel trapped inside its aural walls. Ultimately you find new avenues to follow and new mirrors to study yourself in as DarkTwaine pulls the strings. It’s an album that is layered in countless textures and making your way through is like peeling back all the years of wallpaper to find what is truly, originally underneath.