Powehi by Jakob Rehlinger

Jakob Rehlinger | Powehi
Arachnidiscs (CD/DL)

The title is derived from the Hawaiian phrase for the name given to the first black hole to be photographed, here as interpreted by Quill Hardy’s near embryonic coverart. Jakob Rehlinger‘s Powehi are a half dozen tracks with an un/familiar flash to the past and the future of a dialed-in Behringer Model D (and a dash of Korg Minilogue). The Torontonian, who has long been known under many monikers, has only been releasing sounds under his given name since last year. And here has found a sweet ambient spot that has that just left of center psychedelic thing going on.

The title track falls in the chasm between the grandchildren of Tangerine Dream and perhaps something from the now defunct, latter-day Fax +49-69/450464. Its sweet nu-progressive chords swerve and seer through as if being submersed in a thick goo of a candy mountain while gizmos smoothly reel everything around you into fanciful shapes, one by one. This has learned a common lingo as previously spoken by both Giorgio Moroder and Evangelos Papathanassiou though takes a far more straight shot ambient path on Powehi.

The quake of shimmering synths, coated in a hazy filter delights on Homeward Voyage as it drifts, light as a feather, with streaky inflections. The addition of shrill short birdcall-like snippets are as effective as the more bulbous wafts throughout. The classic scary b-movie riff on Embellished Dark is somehow snug in the mix here. It’s marginally tongue-in-cheek in its pitchy chords and goes (short and sweet) with the flow. Then comes the lengthiest work here, Unending Creation, and for its title seems somewhat scaled to size. This is a worldly ambient piece that drifts and bends with each slight tweek of its programming. The evolving, folding synths sound so discernible but the longer the piece runs, the further it strives from its mental sources. It begins to in/form itself as if part of the surrounding air. Now, that’s not to say this is sheer and minimal, au contraire. An amazing piece — sort of subliminal subjugation of a new form of contemporary prog-electro in the making. Beam me up.

One might easily refer to this as listless bliss with a serious chill factor. Finally on M87 the atmosphere begins to chug forward with thickly smudged harmonics, swirling in twisted brightness. And after the affecting previous piece, this sort of ties the whole record together with a mid 70’s-gasm of multi-colored viscosity that turns to a sort of off-white light in the lengthy, smooth fade. One acoustic leap for humankind.


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