Åyusp’s debut album, entitled Åyusp, is a breathtaking electronic journey through space and time. Synthesizers pulse and flow, carrying you smoothly towards the outer reaches of the cosmos. It’s a wonderful project from start to finish, one that made me pause the music and reach for my better headphones the first time I listened, a testament to its beauty in the face of my laziness.
The first track, “Isochronal Rapture,” creates a fitting soundscape, it’s regular and intense. It leaves you floating for a few minutes, your body billowing out into the vacuum of space, directionless, before lifting you and carrying you forward, a benign tour guide. It feels light and airy at a surface level, a choral pad creating a rich background over the synthesized architecture that’s propping up around you. Despite this airiness, this rapture, the bass is breathtaking, a heavy loop of pure rhythm to keep you on your feet, to synchronize your heart into electronica itself. A rapture of blood and circuitry.
It fades out, regularly timed synths giving way to a haunting expanse of pads that flow like waves, disconcertingly organic despite their true nature. “Atlas Four” whispers in your ears, pulling your conscious thought back and forth through your head. This track feels like having an anxiety attack alone in the city. It’s three a.m. and I can barely see the stars, but they give me comfort. I mean this positively. It’s wonderfully tense without giving a reason for the tension. There’s just a constant sense of something inherently wrong. The synth work is incredible, an ambient nightmare done right. It’s a taste of the stars in the city, a taste of the unknown through sinister constructions of concrete and glass.
The final track on this release, “The Mourning of Synth Widows” is a heartbreaking piece of ambient glory. It builds and swells, sound burgeoning out from the beyond. The choral pad is used wonderfully, this time the foundation itself. Graham McElearney and Paul Mills have crafted an impressive piece from electricity itself. This song particularly would fit in a long abandoned church.
Åyusp is an incredible composition, one that I highly recommend listening to in the dark on your next mushroom trip. The direction is cohesive and well maintained, and these two synth-heads have built something that, for me personally, will stand the test of time.