Tonik Ensemble | Imprints

Tonik Ensemble is the project of Icelandic composer Anton Kaldal Ágústsson, and he’s streaming a track, “Imprints” (with Icelandic vocalist Johann Kristinsson), from off his upcoming release, “Snapshots”. Both the song title and album title seem to suggest this musical venture will contain elements of short but indelible imagery. The promotion copy mentions Ágústsson’s current obsession with seeing music as a type of synaesthesia, visualizing sound as painting. It makes more sense after listening to “Imprints” — which beings with a low chime rattle, before Ágústsson adds dabs of color — i.e., a heavy bass beat, skittery echoing background noises and synthesized blips — expanding the track with the addition of cello played by Þórður Hermannsson and short vocal phrases: “Reflection underwater / Blinding my eyes / Of every step I take / He drinks in the sand / Environmental noises / Sound from the waves / Of ever-growing current.” It’s a heady experiment, that results in hypnotic and stylish organic beats and rhythms. Note: Lyrics are unofficial. — David D. Robbins Jr.

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