I’ve been digging all the weirdness czaszka (rec.) has been offering up this year, but Central Isteric’s PASS/PORT is my favorite so far. I know little about the project beyond its Romanian origins. Central Isteric is a side project of Gili Mocanu aka Somnoroase Păsărele and my knowledge of his work under that name (this recent album is fantastic) doesn’t go much deeper. None of that is important, though, because from the opening salvo, PASS/PORT sticks.
“Death I Pass” is the sound of an orchestra in a car crash. Countless layers of strings, horns, and chaotic rhythms mix together in overwhelming yet strange and engaging ways. A hypnotic loop starts simply, an innocent invitation into a jewel-encrusted room. It seems like we’re going to have a nice time. By the time the rhythm drops in, the varying layers start twisting off in obscure directions. Voice and TV samples and additional strings build cacophony. It’s dizzying, but weirdly satisfying, too. It’s like a massage for my brain.
On the flipside, “Life I Pass” Mocanu tangles loping horns and heavily processed vocals into a messy, whimsical stink. Guitars crunch and shred while the beat hits heavy, stomping across the landscape like a reincarnated dinosaur. Eventually it fizzles out, strings giving way to piano loops dancing ethereal steps in a forest of lights. Operatic samples flit between the strings and percussion; a creature floating across the sky, untouchable.
PASS/PORT is a lot of fun, but dig a little deeper and there’s surprises to be found. Gili Mocanu’s experiments change directions and inundate the senses while shooting wild images into the dark, continually pushing ahead. Central Isteric’s alien world never stops moving.
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