Sep 2023 16

Album CoverST∆ER
Album: Equilibrium
Category: Ambient / Electronic / Experimental
Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2022-12-02
Author: Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)


It had been over two years since Ian R. Staer released any music under the banner of ST∆ER, and although he’s kept busy with gigs in light and sound design, Equilibrium sees him once again channeling his creative energies through the controlled voltage of his arsenal of synthesizers. The results are two extended tracks of celestial ambience improvisations that immerse and ensnare the listener, elegant in their relative simplicity, intriguing in their thoughtfully mapped out arrangements, and accomplishing that very difficult task of holding interest over the course of 16 minutes each. “Coriolis” revolves primarily around a lovely analog passage that immediately reminds this writer of the spacy instrumentals of the ‘70s, swells of dark bass and droning layers of airy pads singing like a chorale amid the lush aural habitat. All the patterns move at a languid pace, with variations in delay and arpeggiation supplementing the additional flavors of piano and synth oscillations, keeping the listener guessing as to which tonal shifts will be next before finally fading into the ether. It’s all rather repetitive by nature, and although highly listenable, it lacks in a certain momentum. In contrast, “Manifold” hints at a more vital energy with a pacier arpeggio somewhat reminiscent of the recent trends of synthwave, the pads crafting a lovely, cold ambience that is eventually interrupted by the bubbling throb of bass to enhance the rhythm. Light hi-hats add to the tension, and then chordal piano melodies add a touch of depth almost lyrical; one might easily mistake the track for a lost Tangerine Dream film score, suitable as much for a sojourn through the cosmos at lightspeed as through rainswept neon-lit urban sprawl. Mixed by Chris Vrenna and mastered by Eric Oehler, ST∆ER’s Equilibrium may not be the most essential album in the genre, but enthusiasts of modular synthesis, or even just instrumental electronic music in general should find much to enjoy across its 32 minutes.
Track list:

  1. Coriolis
  2. Manifold

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