Grid Of Reality

Sangam x Infinity Frequencies


Liam Murphy

November 2, 2023

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

Two of the most formidable sonic world-builders join forces for an overwhelmingly dark and gloomy release

What can one expect when two equally-reputed but importantly nuanced artists release a collaborative album? Far from being a simple merging of two styles, much of the end result relies on the creative process. Being that Sangam – a painter of gloomy, often-dystopian cityscapes through the use of ephemeral ambient pads – is based in the UK, and Infinity Frequencies something of a bard of outdated technology, using retro samples and shuffling them together to create uncanny journeys through the palimpsest of glitching computer systems – lives in California, one can only imagine that they exchanged ideas, files and motifs through the computer. This is, of course, not uncommon in this day and age, but is worth baring in mind with these two artists in particular. Sending and receiving ideas through the very instrument that so often acts as their respective muse. The result is harrowing. But, perhaps more strikingly, the album is sonically iridescent, the listener unable to pinpoint one artist from the other in its sound.

An overwhelmingly grey visage engulfs the listener on Endless Chasm, with a great yawning mouth of dissonant sorrow, as if a whole planet has descended into mourning, pushing through lashing downpours in a steady funereal march. The scene hits deep, undoubtedly and at least in part, because of Sangam’s incredible atmosphere creation. The artist’s ability to have multiple independently confident melody lines embrace effortlessly has been proven throughout an extensive back catalogue. Though is this due to Sangam at all? Is it not, maybe, a disquieting sample pulled from the depths that Infinity Frequencies has reached into so many times before? From more recent releases, Exit Simulation especially, we know the artist’s knack for selecting the most disorientating and eerie soundbites. This duality is what gives much of Grid Of Reality its unique pull. The more the listener tries to pick the artists apart, the more stuck they become in the general uncanny gloom of the short release.

First Encounter leads with a much more explicitly sinister feel, rain driven up to resemble the crackling of flawed frequencies, similar pads flanked by what sounds to be ghostly voices. A more searching vision appears in the middle distance this time as well, through this contrast of rough with ephemeral. The gracefully pulsing layer of synths leading further and further into a landscape, all while, apart from a few frequency swipes, standing plainly, in all their strangeness.

On the titular track, a timid set of higher notes are surely delivered by the UK-based artist. But then, the deeper, swaying melody from the start begins again, set off by a thudding impact. Another sample? Or has it just been so precisely arranged to sound like this, the release utilising Sangam’s melodic skill with Infinity Frequencies incomparable arrangement? Once again, the listener can’t tell one creator’s brushstrokes from the other.

The sombre tuneful aspects of the 4-track EP have floated away, leaving a desolate shadowy visage, as Crimson Sphere arrives. Whispered tones rock gently, as if blown by a twilight breeze. Meaningful notes begin to push from within this monolithic swaying to and fro, a musicality does re-enter the scene, but always shadowed by this hypnotic nothingness. The two artists tower over the listener, creating all that can be perceived, but keeping themselves just perfectly cloaked in darkness, like the harbingers at the periphery of a nightmare.

Hypnotic and undeniably dark, Grid Of Reality is a near-faultless sonic experience. Its brevity allows it to be a weird, shuddering listen. Harrowing melodies weave their way through a monochrome landscape of rain and dissonance. The mix of sepulchral refrains and instrumental chants mired in gloom portray a truly ghostly world. But it feels as though it is the search for the distinct two parts of this whole that really indicate its brilliance. The artist's move with transience, apparitions of each appearing and quickly fading away.