Chaos is inevitable, and it is everywhere. How do we find our place within it? It’s a question posed in the debut album from the London-based multidisciplinary artist NEXCYIA, which is set for release via John Talabot’s Hivern Discs sub-label Pensaments Sònics in March.
Across the 10 tracks that make up ‘Endless Path of Memory’, the experimental sound explorer maps a winding route to the outer realms of ambient music, painting its unruly terrain with precise brush strokes of granular synth, instrumental samples and field recordings. This is no work of sustained meditation – in tracks like ‘Things Fall Apart’ and ‘Tales’, NEXCYIA challenges us to find the moments of serenity among the scattershot samples and anxious flurries of distorted melody. Even in the album’s blissfully free-floating mid-section, where layers of droning synth unravel and overlap around weightless chimes, there’s a lingering sense of some gravitational force in the distance, waiting to yank you back into the maelstrom.
Like his 2020 EP for the Alien Jams label, ‘Endless Path of Memory’ is, in part, a study of otherness. As a North American artist of African descent, who has since lived between France and the UK, his art navigates alienation within the Black experience, and the memories attached to that. Within the ever-shifting soundscape of his first full-length album, NEXCYIA, in a manner not unlike the Detroit electro pioneers Drexciya from whom his name is derived, crafts a subtle Afrofuturist narrative, which imagines an existence where, amidst chaos and isolation, one finds beauty and belonging.
NEXCYIA’s Selections encompass 10 releases of similarly adventurous ambient music, “for those who are either relaxing at home or commuting to work, chosen primarily for their exceptional sound design, captivating textures, or overall emotive feel.”
Dive in below, and pre-order ‘Endless Path of Memory’ here.
“I've always been a huge follower and supporter of what mu tate does. I've listened to this album over and over again on long walks and journeys into the forest. I put it on when I feel like cleansing my house of bad spirits; it's super sensory. My favorite track is ‘was it holy (ft. Desireé Monique)’.”
"This Pontiac Streator album is so complex! His production technique is so unique and it's slightly what I aspire to make one day. I met him for the first time in New York at a 29Speedway show in an abandoned warehouse. My favourite track is the last track, ‘i could show you’ - It helped me get through a rough part in my life.”
“‘Dog Cafe Rioz’ is such a sweet track on this album by shinetiac, a duo consisting of shiner and Pontiac Streator. I love the use of syncopated rhythms, swingy samples and field recordings.”
“When I listen to this Ben Bondy album, I always vividly imagine myself cruising at night in a desert. There's something quite nocturnal about it.”
“I don't have too many words to say about this one because it slams. It’s so soothing. I met the Chicago trio for the first time at the 29Speedway warehouse party last year. The entire album is so liquidy – just how I like it.”
“One of my favourite records! Nueen is so incredibly talented. I also aspire to make music like this genius.”
“The underrated Emre Girginkaya! This album has luscious pads and beautiful vocals. His sampling techniques are astonishing, I want to get his name out there ASAP. We haven't met yet but I'm really looking forward to the day.”
“Hysterical Love Project are undeniably talented. Their Motion Ward record is blissful. If you feel like listening to ambient emo shoegaze, this is the one.”
“The underrated Racine!!! Honestly, big fan and big supporter of this guy. I'm really looking forward to his next album.”
“Aho Ssan is the master of sound design. The album, all the prep he did to put this out is honestly something to aspire to as well. I saw him play for the first time at Berlin Atonal, 2023. I was utterly shocked at how amazing his sound is.”