Loose Lips

Egregore - E.L.M Collective

Release Review

Egregore - E.L.M Collective

Egregore is as manifold a term as it is an album. The sheer variety of up and downtempo arrangements, coupled with the dense yet careful layering of its productions, serves as a testament to this claim.

Featuring everything electronic, from the technically intricate and percussive to the expressive and emotional, this compilation fulfills its eponymous meaning: the "collective group mind" reflective of the concept around which the album was inspired. Likewise, each artist imprints a bit of themselves into their compositions, their “style”, if you will. All for the purpose of showcasing the underground flavor of modern IDM/braindance, which serves as their common goal.

The status of the aforementioned roster - most of whom are unsigned, SoundCloud/Bandcamp-based, and work their respective 9:00-5:00 jobs outside of music production - is woefully unsung. Their prime motivation for this release is for the love of the art form, with publicity and profit taking a backseat to expression. One could argue this augments its ingenuity, a trait that accounts for the nuance in their works.

To perpetuate the genres they love, to pay homage to their inspirations, and to paint a portrait of their positions in the scene serves as their prerogative. Most importantly, they pursue and perfect their own preferences they've developed from being long-time audience members. Some frenetically pursue the jungle stylings of Lee Perry, others calmly resign themselves to the ambience they find in Boards of Canada, yet still more splinter off into realms reminiscent of Warp Records' Artificial Intelligence and 030303 Records' Various I releases.

The sheer volume of quality entries in this release is almost indescribable. The sunny brightness and deep-breathing pace of “Western Lights (No Hope)”; the ever-rolling and nefarious “You Can Call Me Amy”; the friendly chirping and bubbling “Raindrop Operator”; The psychedelic but defiant and marching beats of “Oloid Sportsman”; The oddly smooth blend of gritty highs and squishy lows found in “Copper 7”, The naïve yet haunting atmosphere of “Patience99”; the tough funk and syncopated candor of “The Metaphysics of Love”; The dark twist on the classic breakbeat battery of “Anyman From The Meny Men Crew”; the hyperactive ramble of the babbling synth gallops in “glasp”… and those are only the few this writer is even remotely capable of illustrating.

At its very least, Egregore is a genuine reflection. At its most, it is a powder keg of cathartic electronic medleys, begging to be listened to - at one's leisure, of course.