SEØUEL – Reykjavik EP (Review)


SEØUEL calls his music “electronic darkness,” and cites the infant Christ as one of his major influences. Intrigued? I was too. A highly ambiguous character, the world loves those, right? SEØUEL has come rising out of the nefarious underground music scene of Edinburgh and London to drop musical bombs on us all. Debuting last August with his release of the Prague EP, it seems Mister SEØUEL has an affixion for famous cities, as he now brings us his second release almost a year later titled, Reykjavik EP. Containing five songs, and coming in at under 30 minutes, in listening to this collection of songs, I feel that it offers a perfect dive into a dark realm, without losing the listener in its depths. I’d say it’s akin to reading the first few chapters of Stephen King novel, while sitting outside on a sunny afternoon.

The EP opens with a track titled, “Fear Party.” Taking no time at all to initiate the creep-fest, you’ll find no shortage of garbling synthlines and morose sampling, which at least half of them, I swear, have come from something I’ve seen. But as the title eludes, we’re here to party, and I’m glad to say you’ll feel like dancing. “Fear Party,” makes its mark as a great opener, and a track I am positive will make it in to my Halloween playlist this year.

Following suit is the track, “Islenskir Fuglar,” or “Icelandic Birds.” Equally as dark, but even more dance-ready, this one was among my favorites of the EP. I sense influences from Crystal Castles, Gesaffelstein, and this awesome Steam game called Hotline Miami. These may just be my interpretations, isn’t that the point?

My ignorance stands before me when it comes to the next track, because when I try to figure out what “Viokvaemt Biom” stands for, all I can find is the translation to, “Sensitive Buffer,” whatever that means. The title of track three also comes with a tagline, “(The Chattanoogan),” and again my ignorance eludes me; it seems too recent and too unrelated to bare any relation to the recent shooting at the Tennessee military installations, but I know not of any other relative story. As sad as it seems, if there were any relation, this track might make a fitting soundtrack to the aftermath since. Changing drastically from the prior two tracks, this one is deeply melancholy. Slow and ethereal throughout, this song brought me back, albeit briefly, to some of my darker days.

“Subtle” follows next, a track that is in and of itself, anything but. Possibly the most jarring, of the bunch, “Subtle,” follows a 4 beat pattern driven by the sound of what a would presume to be a creepy-ass infant child beating two wood blocks together in the distance somewhere. Wibbly-wobbling, and warbly-woobling, grating at times, distinctly disturbing, this track is an adventure the unknown. You’ll love it.

Finally, SEØUEL brings us “Skrytio Andrumsloft,” or “Strange Atmospheric.” Unlike the previous track, the name fits the bill, and you’ll find what could only be described as such. Filled to the brim with the sounds of what I think only distant planets could sound like, this track is moving in the way I’ve found some World music to be; it has that sense of urgency to it. The only knock I have against this song, is that it’s the last one. It will really truly leave you wanting more. Damn you, SEØUEL, DAMN YOU.

A wonderful, complicated, deep, dreary, and captivating release, Reykjavik EP is absolutely worth your time. It will move you across all the plains of existence in less than the time it takes for your morning commute, only to bring you back down feeling like Alice after having simply fallen asleep under her favorite tree. Highly recommended.

4.5/5 Stars

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