Jan 2014 05

Atiq & EnK - Fear of the Unknown Atiq & EnK
Category: Ambient / Electronic
Album: Fear of the Unknown
Stars: 4
Blurb: Challenging the current groove of electronic music as well as listeners’ expectations, Atiq & EnK’s percussion-driven debut is therapeutic as much as it is cerebral.


Chicago based Tympanik Audio is increasingly becoming known to be home to some of the most unique musical prodigies that this world has to offer. Joining the ranks this year are the up-and-coming Dutch artists Guido Van Den Brink and Pim Arnoldus under their moniker Atiq & EnK. Splicing meditative and complex rhythms with controlled doses of everything from trip-hop to industrial to classical composition makes it rather difficult to believe that this is their first full-length venture. While there’s a discernible uniform tempo throughout, Atiq & EnK’s imagination is absolutely restless, drifting through gorgeous spiritual sceneries to diabolical lairs that inspire listeners at every turn.

The album opens with a slight Middle Eastern feel as desperate cries, violin strokes, and squeaky synths soar through a tapered pulsating bass in the omen, “Stay with the Familiar.” The hypnotic “Moonlit Tea Party” almost has a jazzy underlay to it as it soothes with erotic moans and precise metallic pads that transition to an underwater region with tinges of dubstep in “Slow Clouds.” Conjuring up images of an intricate, steam powered sanctuary, “My Obligation” makes it immediately apparent that these creations could easily be injected into epic films and video games; the possibilities should be endless for this skilled pair.

The interval in “The Glass Kingdom” toys with expectations as a short-lived music box symbolizes the fragility of life before the eerie, offbeat dub-esque highlight in “Sim One” emphasizes that with the frightening state of mankind’s ambition. As the album progresses through more addictive hybrids with the icy crunches in “Three Minutes” and the cosmic ambient dirge in “Shards of Brilliance,” it’s a somewhat shocking, anticlimactic moment when concluded with “The Moment of Truth” as Mike Redman’s obnoxious rapping drowns out the layers that are more fulfilling. While it is a very counterproductive addition to an ingenious aesthetic, it doesn’t compromise the fact that the rest of Fear of the Unknown firmly stands as an overall remarkable accomplishment.

Whether playing in the background, soothing one’s subconscious, or met head on, Atiq & EnK’s presentation of beat-driven ambient music fares as an incredibly cathartic surprise that this forward thinking year in electronica has offered. If you’re looking for something unconventional and spellbinding, then look no further and get lost in Fear of the Unknown.
Track list:

  1. Stay with the Familiar
  2. Moonlit Tea Party
  3. Slow Clouds
  4. My Obligation
  5. The Glass Kingdom
  6. Like an Angel’s Feather
  7. Sim One
  8. What Was That
  9. Three Minutes
  10. Shards of Brilliance
  11. The Moment of Truth (feat. Mike Redman)

Atiq & EnK Website http://www.atiq-enk.com
Atiq & EnK MySpace http://www.myspace.com/atiqenk
Atiq & EnK Facebook https://www.facebook.com/atiqenk
Atiq & EnK SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/atiq-enk
Tympanik Audio Website http://tympanikaudio.com
Tympanik Audio MySpace https://myspace.com/tympanik
Tympanik Audio Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tympanikaudio
Tympanik Audio Twitter https://twitter.com/tympanik
Tympanik Audio Bandcamp http://tympanikaudio.bandcamp.com
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Zachary Locke (ZLocke)

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