Apr 2013 12

Serenity Cell - Serenity Cell EPSerenity Cell
Category: Electro / IDM
Album: Serenity Cell EP
Stars: 2
Blurb: By the numbers affair with fizzling ambient textures from a musician capable of more and better.


Psykkle’s Evan Collingwood expands his musical horizons via this new side project’s first EP. Serenity Cell’s self-titled debut clearly grows from the same fertile musical ground, rich in meandering bleeps and lush fuzzy textures, but the drive and the impetus of Collingwood’s previous work are largely absent, lost in the predictable order of aimless electro.

The five tracks that make up Serenity Cell in some obvious ways tap into the potential of mellow ambient driven electro with curiosity inspiring titles like “Malicious Glitchware” or “Hear My Ghost.” Even though the production is crisp and the promise of a dense, haunting atmosphere is palpable, craftsmanship and creativity never gel together, resulting in an emotional vacuum. The opening track is filled with ominous sounds but stimulates neither imagination nor feeling. The lethargic pace of the following “Android Anatomy” is never challenged and settles comfortably within an uneventful tedium of promising melodies that fail to set off. “Hollow State” tries to shift the record’s gear; alas, the brief bluntness of the beat and the prominence of the distorted textures provide less diversity than is needed to enliven and salvage the dynamism. The EP’s last stretch is marked by the same unaffectionate collage of plucking sounds and ambience that dominated all tracks before it and, thankfully, the closing “Stuck in Serenity” is not a statement regarding the listener’s doomed position, on the other side of the audio device, treated to repetitious and superfluous IDM rehash. When the dust settles and the track list is exhausted, there is no trace left of the music, mood, or the cohesion with which they should come together.

It is commendable that Serenity Cell strives for different tones and provides its audience with different experiences than the pulsating, danceable groove of Psykkle might suggest. It is less endearing, though, that this first venture into more deliberate electronic formats evaporates from listeners’ heads so easily and begets the urge for Collingwood’s other, more entertaining side. From a musician that has already proved his prowess, you expect more and Serenity Cell is, at its very best, a solid but uninspired fling. Time will tell whether it turns into a passionate love affair or fade away.
Track list:

  1. Malicious Glitchware
  2. Android Anatomy
  3. Hear My Ghost
  4. Hollow State
  5. Stuck in Serenity

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Damian Glowinkowski (DamienG)

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