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Read passionate stories about music and joyful memories, written by us or our friends!

A Leap Into Circuit Diagram’s Ursumpf

by Stefania Dumitru, January 12, 2023

It all starts from chaos — the whirling, unpredictable, magnified motion of forces, vibratory waves, oscillations, and rhythms that dance around the universe and traverse the body. An exploration of deepness and an appreciation of unpredictability. Through its randomness and chance, this chaos produces harmony and some sort of organic proto-life. Recently released on Ondes HXCX, Ursumpf travels with a ceaseless variation through the plane of its percussive and electronic composition, and it throws itself over this chaos. It accumulates and absorbs energy, speeding up and slowing down, generating movement and giving rise to sensation. Its sound develops and perpetuates itself in a dynamic assemblage of two tracks that should be enough for a trip through the misty woods.

A hypnotic dance around the fire, a quiet fall into the bushes, Ursumpf does not have a direction, shape, or linearity. It creates space for harmonic experimentation and exploration, enabling something evocative, something like a mystifying encounter. In a fusion of acoustic and electronic, rhythm explodes and runs. It brings together a sonorous jungle and intensifies sensation. Like a crustacean, blind in stupendous darkness and guided by acoustic signals, the one trapped in Ursumpf mingles with the shadows of noise and gets carried in the realm of syncopated sounds.

A vibratory rhythm emerges from the non-linearity of a percussive wave that pulses, fluctuates, assembles, disassembles, and moves hastily until it erupts into the haziness of Music for Shisha Bars. Transitioning to a hypnotic state of trance, the sonar pulses, blips, and vibrations of the flip side push further atavistic sounds and flowing experimental rhythms. If Ursumpf started in a slow, smoothed-out pace, Music for Shisha Bars vrooms like a brain zap and runs a more alert rhythmic deal. Psychedelic full-immersion into a far-flung realm of instrumentals.

It’s like a junction and bisection of percussive elements jumping like atoms from one orbit to another to create a new one. Just like an atom can be in both dimensions at once, the two-sided arsenal of slappers puts you right there, in between, to listen in both places at once. One could easily say it’s experimental music, but more than a genre or style, the duo’s sonic experimentation or approach becomes a spirit. A spirit that sees composition as a form of exploration and ventures into unknown and uncertain territories. Not such an easy voyage, but one that sends your mind into a primitive-futuristic-proto-kraut orchard of dream-like sonics. It somehow makes me think of Steve Roach’s Trance Spirits which allures you with the sound of a river hidden by snags and fallen logs. Both with narratives that create their own worlds and way of telling stories. Listen to these tracks simultaneously and you might erratically slither down the trout stream. Or at least, I did.

Unfolding along two sprawling tracks, Circuit Diagram stitches threads of chopped and screwed tribal psychedelic ambient with a discrete dub layering, where ancient spirits race with the synth goblins of the present. A two-sided immersive sonic experience weaves energetic drums, sliced-up synths, fuzzy instrumentals, and dubby gnarls relating to the same tale. Both sides seem to complement each other and look for their place in the infinity of a rhythmic flow that separates and unites at the same time. One to hold close both for its haunting, trance-inducing Afro-cosmic sonics and the imposing cover which is clearly the mood setter of the trip.

In the end, everything flows.


Kris Jakob (F#X) & Nicolas Sheikholeslami (Çaykh)

Hamburg/Berlin-based, the electroacoustic-trance duo frames percussion and electronics into a constructed interchange between the melodic and the harmonic, creating their own peristaltic pulses around layered dubs and leafy beats. Equipped with a deep ability to assemble diverse sounds and rhythmic patterns, Circuit Diagram manages to forge together the electronic and acoustic to extract a vibratory rhythm from chaos.


Dan Anghelache (Amerza)

The way I see Ursumpf is as a long-form type of composition that uses rhythm to’ lock’ you in, delivering melodies and counter-rhythms along the way. Berlin School/4th World with a tangy percussive palette. Simultaneously, the tracks feel dance-floor ready, but also reel you in further through their textural density.

How did Ondes HXCX take form?

Ondes HXCX came about as a way to release music that interested me whilst keeping full control of the process from design to mastering. Additionally, a lot of the work that labels do, in my view, is to create ‘snapshots’ in time, such as the Hallucinating Heights compilation, which focused on presenting the New Romanian Sound as it was in 2020. Ondes HXCX aims to continue exploring intersections in percussion and rhythm.

More about ONDES HXCX

As a lovely, unexpected gift, just after a trip back from Istanbul and after his tape recorder died, Amerza managed to put together for us a riot of stark rhythmic punches and communicate a bit more about his sonic affairs. No written answers, but just an ambiance of strings and percussions for the curious and obscure minds.

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