Symbol Online Architecture
Published Apr 08, 2014Online Architecture is the debut solo effort from Texas-based musician Christopher King, who also strums strings for post-rock juggernaut This Will Destroy You. As Symbol, King escapes the weighty trappings of a full band setup, instead revelling in modular synthesis and magnetic tape experiments. Even when he does employ actual physical instrumentation, it's routed through an array of patches and gear that completely atomizes the source material. The resulting compositions are airy and mystical, with a hint of influence from King's travels through East Asia lending a worldly tint to the music.
Online Architecture rolls in on a blanket of fuzz, with an off-speed warble that evokes a sun-baked cassette tape unravelling on a broken tape deck. Both "Tracer" and "New China" imbue this vintage feel with ornate melodic figures, while tracks like "Shadow Harvesting" let the gauzy textures expand unchallenged. "Lineage" approaches Twin Peaks without fully allowing the nasty creatures of the Black Lodge to penetrate its warm centre, lulling the listener with its dream-like textures.
Online Architecture is an album that muddies the waters of what is considered ambient music: it unfolds blissfully yet is rife with surprising moments of complexity. King's unfettered sonic imagination has produced stunning results. (Holodeck)