Sound artist Ken Moore’s Vital Xanthic Panoply is an unapologetic head trip—a 29 minute-long single track EP offering a phantasmagoria of sounds from a variety of sources, some identifiable and some not. There are, at minimum, vintage synthesizer sweeps and rumbles; gongs, chimes, and tuned percussion; randomized piano and organ lines—a polyphony of distantly related timbres and tones whether synthetic or real, or real and processed, that somehow catalyze each other in an alchemy of pure sonic shapeshifting. But what matters isn’t so much where the sounds come from or what is done to them as where they go. Which is forward, along a meandering path. The entire piece is integrated with a freely pulsed perpetual motion that carries it along on undulating waves of sound, some running forward, some running backward, but all constantly changing through a combinatory logic all their own. This is music that carries no message beyond the sensual pleasure it provides. But sometimes, that’s enough.
(Full disclosure: Moore is a friend and occasional collaborator.)