Featured on episode 39.
Glitch musicians are either extraordinarily patient people or unbelievably passionate artists or perhaps they’re both. The attention to minutiae that seems inherent to that genre strikes the lesser mortals that we are as being pretty much phenomenal. Finnish independent musician Axel Thesleff who experiments in electronic glitch music on the regular absolutely exhibits this quality. The intro to his Massive Delusion begins with curious sandpapery scratches and quiet crackling, but that’s just the beginning. You can expect to be exposed to a very wide spectrum of textures during the track, fitted together in improbable ways - which somehow work.
Most ears are accustomed to having the rhythmic section provide solidity and familiarity in a song, but the syncopated beats this track is built on always remain that little bit slippery here, providing the listener with the interesting notion that the basis of the song keeps giving way. That is a really stimulating way to work with glitch’s proclivities with chaos: the sensation that this assemblage is precarious and could crumble at any second is paradoxically the track’s greatest strength.
This elusiveness is echoed in the lyrics, which at one point express that ‘below the ground is sinking fast’. The perpetually slippery beats do not cause Massive Delusion to sink though, but actually keep propelling the song forward. And forward is definitely the direction this music is headed. The way in which MS44’s vocals have been handled in the mix have them come across as cerebral. Her voice has such a far away feel, it could be from another dimension altogether. The detachedly contemplative lyrics dispense their wisdom as if from a higher plane of existence: “Count your blessings child”, they tell the listener and it’s difficult to decide whether they put a utopian or dystopian spin on this track. It could be a little bit of both, but what is certain is that this song is all things futuristic.
Axel Thesleff’s SoundCloud page hosts an extensive, ever-evolving body of work that Weekly Podcast really recommends you have a listen to if you’re looking for mind-opening music.