I think about what my bliss place is a lot, but it’s an ever-moving target. Brin and Josiah Steinbrick’s Bliss Place, however, is a vivid kaleidoscope where sound fractals bend into futuristic shapes and ideas. Anxiety-ridden circuitry flutters through artificial landscapes, shapeshifting through unexpected high rises covered in lush flora, creating the strangest star map imaginable.
Short coin blips and muted voices of “100 ppm” are a passageway forward through time into the aquatic arrhythmia of “total dope.” Synths chime underwater, searching through reefs for the scratchy homing signal beckoning beyond the coastline. Swells gallantly attempt upward movement but are dragged back by the dense sonic haze and hollow chambers, ultimately content to stay a while longer in this light seafoam world. The edges are soft down there, and it’s a good place to lay low.
A different kind of ecstasy floats down on “lexus resist,” clouds disintegrate into faintly glowing aural fuzz that falls quietly and illuminates the ground. Propelled forward by a more direct beat, it tingles all the senses; the smell of petrichor bumps against a plush blanket, all swirled together in this lovely stream of sonic textures. Vignettes where the sun is shining, but in a world still underlit by darkness permeate the loose flow of “ascending as an oil ghost.” Glossy surfaces peak out from beneath fingerprint smudges, a perfect world there for the taking, but always just out of reach.
Reality always wins out in the end, though. Uncertainty bends with the wind underneath a curtain of hiss on the side-long title track. Woozy loops and night insects cross paths, the bright light of dawn a distant memory, but Brin and Steinbrick’s delicately crafted sounds weaving themselves into a warm husk. Paradise comes in different shapes and sizes, but there’s always an incandescent safe zone waiting on Bliss Place.
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