Bovaflux: Where There Was Nothing
Highpoint Lowlife

Where There Was Nothing, you'll now find Eddie Symons' fine Bovaflux contribution to Highpoint's top-notch electronic catalogue. Software programmer by day, Symons spends his nights crafting immersive sounds that marry compositional intricacy with sparkling elegance. Remarkably poised for a first full-length release, Where There Was Nothing is purely electronic but far from cold or alienating, as the title song's gorgeous fields of arching synth tones makes clear. Furthermore, Symons coaxes a diverse array of sounds from his gear, evidenced most prominently in “Happy Numbers,” dubby pools of ripples and thrums.

The Bovaflux sound occasionally echoes those of others. With melancholy themes unfurling slowly atop a bed of alien chatter and tactile loops, the meditative “Blind” emanates a soft radiance characteristic of Eno's ambient work while “Ohne Namen” layers dramatic streams of sparkling electronics over crunchy beats in Bola-like manner; “A Nice Place to End” ends the collection with a pretty quietude that's reminiscent of Isan. Though the material is often infused with melancholy, it's never lugubrious; Symons will sometimes offset a song's darker ambiance with beats, as he does on “Torchlight” by merging stately tones with metronomic rhythms. Sunkissed moments (the euphoric vibe of chiming melodies and skittering beats in “Bridge,” glistening atmospherics and swaying rhythms in the lulling coda “A Nice Place to End”) and hip-hop (the squelchy lope underpinning the languorous “Sleepytime”) surface throughout.

Though it is impeccably crafted, the 48-minute Where There Was Nothing isn't genre-defying but I'd be willing to bet Symons had a less grandiose objective in mind for the album. If, as I suspect, his more modest goal was to produce a captivating collection of melodic IDM, he's succeeded handsomely. Wholly devoid of awkwardness, the Bovaflux sound flows with a natural élan.

September 2005