Aleph: From Chaos To Cosmos
King Deluxe

Amazing. Aleph is the nom de plume of one Ivan Erofeev who, born in a Siberian village and now ensconced in still-remote Omsk, is all of eighteen years old. Not only that: From Chaos To Cosmos is his second release for King Deluxe, with the first, the EP Haunt For Little Blind Fish, having appeared in early 2011. While he received classical training on violin, Erofeev's instrument of choice is the computer, as shown by this trippy batch of electronic instrumentals. Hip-hop's part of the mix, naturally, but the Aleph sound resists such easy capture. Instead, the material draws upon an assortment of styles and influences, and sounds in places like the kind of thing one might expect from a Zomby or equivalent UK figure.

The new thirty-three-minute collection, dare we say, shows Erofeev maturing at an alarmingly rapid rate, with a track like “Omerta” evidencing a sophistication and command that we might expect from someone with at least a decade of production activity under his/her belt. What impresses most is the restraint that Erofeev brings to the breakbeat-heavy track, especially when it would be so easy to go in the other direction. That same combination of imagination and skill informs the release's other tracks, whether it be the psychedelic explorations of “Melt of Time” or the exotic dramatics of “Theatre of Matter.” The “Distal Footwork Remix” of “Under a Layer of Ice” is, not surprisingly, jittery in the extreme, but that doesn't make it any the less enjoyable. Elsewhere, an acoustic piano part adds a bit of old-world charm to the otherwise synthetic sound-world of “My Sad Story,” and “Astyanax Mexicanus (Jacob 2-2 Ocean Probe Dub)” ends the recording with a downtempo and surprisingly bluesy exercise in hip-hop swing. In these multi-layered constructions, 8-bit melodies and occasional dub bass lines rise to the forefront of Aleph's complex beat programming and slippery rhythmning. One therefore might think of From Chaos To Cosmos as some ever-mutating future-funk re-imagining of Warp-styled IDM.

February 2012