SE: Epiphora

Tympanik Audio, 2009

Epiphora cover

Don’t worry, I still keep my ears open for IDM, but good new albums are few and far between. This debut from Sebastian Ehmke on Chicago label Tympanik Audio is a notable exception. From the cleansing tones and stress-fractured static of the opening track, “Komplex_A,” I could tell I was in for a treat.

“15mg” is an obvious highlight, with slow broken beats and melancholy minor keys. Hints of melody compete with speaker-chewing crunches. “23R0 & TH3 5T4R5” and “Hitchhiker” are both simple and cinematic, reminding me of old Bola. “I Need a Medic” is more fully realized, with unexpected bassline key changes and a hip-hop beat.

I’m not saying this is a perfect album. Some of the sounds are a bit too generic. “Null,” for example, is a fun romp, but I know I’ve heard a similar track somewhere before. “Androgenetic Bullshit” has lots of notes but little melody, while the piano loop on “Aer-” is too Philip Glass-like for my taste.

It’s worth waiting, though, for the closing tracks: “Komplex_B” is hauntingly beautiful; “No Need For Voices” is immersive, lush ambience. There are three bonus remixes as well. My favorite is Quench’s take on “15mg.” Massive bass creates its own melody.

While Ehmke’s work doesn’t (yet) represent a new direction, it’s nice to hear a new voice. I’m also heartened there are still labels taking risks on less easily marketed sounds.

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  1. Funny, the best song and first to get Airplay is SE Rmx of Soundspac3’s “alien machin3s”
    “Below Alien Machin3s” infuses broken beats/idk idm with Soundspac3’s 9 min guitar sample, It is on SE’s page & has the most plays of His work…

  2. How is that funny?

  3. In answer to jacobs question…. I am the originator of the Track Alien machin3s. All Guitar 9 min sample…. Sebastion came to me and asked if he could rmx the track. He rmxed & got picked up by T.A. the chicago station WNUR played the track with no mention of me the Originator,,, So The song is owned by Me primarily With a limited Lic. granted to Sebastion Only!
    I had personally asked Paul(pres. of T.a if He was interested in the song… (He had already chosen to play the song off myspace) Sebastion has chosen to remain fairly SILENT about the origins of that track… my name had to be put in after the fact by my own request! (sebastion said He told them to add my name also,but?? I am half German & Italian living USA..
    I have gotten No mention so Far from Anyone on this work.
    About 13 people have rmxed me so far & it is a ongoing contest right now… I would just appreciate a real review or something for My work being used… The original is the most interesting piece… All of this will be featured & documented on our Upcoming site

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