Live on Star’s End by Fhloston Paradigm
Fhloston Paradigm: Live on Star’s End
Released: 23 January 2018
Light is the language of the cosmos. Sound is the language of the mind. With his album Fhloston Paradigm: Live on Star’s End Philadelphia DJ/producer/musician King Britt contemplates non-narrative forms of thought in a true focus of all things sonic. His 60 minutes of discovery during the 30 July 2017 broadcast of STAR’S END was more a mental process than a performance – a set of choices which turned abstraction into feeling. During his live-to-air radio concert, synthesizers became tuned, ideas were conjured and space was explored – with the music unfolding in a continuous stream. Operating without any “adult supervision”, Britt was free to build an electronic environment based on the interplay of sounds and the whim of his mood. Listening in every possible way, listening without hierarchies, he settled into a purely intuitive live undertaking. It is impossible to rehearse for this type of event. One needs the immediacy of an audience, or at least the intimacy of a late night radio show, in order to realize anything substantial. Cast adrift from conventional analytical perceptions, we enter the cerebral realm. Fans from the mainstream may find their more typical listening skills useless. With no external framing (but for the occasional reference to his previous excellent studio album After…) Britt makes the experimental accessible. In an irreducible sonic concision sounds disperse along a diagonal. Encountering the different planes, and the forever oscillating patterns and cycles of themes, this work moves under jittery textures, above a softly rumbling backdrop. Swarming glittering points feed the churn of notes rising along oblique angles. One timbre blends into the next, as other figurations drift in from nowhere and fade out without warning. The modulations of tones, the constant adjustment to the fabric and character of sounds, the rise and fall of phonic forms, through it all we are guided by Britt – spontaneously in the moment. Fhloston Paradigm: Live on Star’s End is the result of a musician quietly and intelligently investigating space. With its reduced narrative content, and emphasis on texture and atmosphere, it possesses aesthetics no different from those found among all orders of electronic musicians. But Britt brings to this adventure a musicality and knowing that few others posses – and, to his credit, allows all this knowledge to serve his improvisations on a subliminal level. Clearly not content to rely on past glories, Live on Star’s End is indeed quite different from the more contemporary efforts by King Britt and his Fhloston Paradigm venture. This kind of sonic encounter encourages a deeper understanding of our self – for musician and audience alike. King Britt found a fuller expression in this studio, over these airwaves, into that night. In the heat of live improvisation a good musician does not melt, we become tempered – the devotional quality of the rite rendering the space sacred. Sound can convey a wide range of expression, indicating the musician’s restraint, vigor or willful abandon. In his STAR’S END session, King Britt delivers, with little fuss, a sprawling one-hour jam that will foretell the future no matter when it is heard.