There’s a scene in the movie Rollerball when Jonathan E visits Mr. Bartholomew in his office meditation space. The room is blindingly white with just a little gray thrown in to offer a bit of contrast. There are pieces of glass hanging from the ceiling on string that are sensitive to the slightest movement in the room and will make a light tinkling noise if disturbed. They’ll also cut you, as Jonathan finds out when he touches one.
AAIIEENN’s newest album, Spaces, is like Mr. Bartholomew’s room – so bright you can barely stand it, everything perfectly arranged and white, still and sterile, but with just that hint of danger that just the lightest touch will cut you deep. But fear not, my friends, as tracks like “Calabi-Yau” slowly build to add more shapes and textures, softening those sharp edges to make the room much less dangerous and more welcoming. Color-wise Spaces stays white, bright and clear. “Euclidian” is a perfect example of this, placing more prominence on the synths and higher pitches while keeping the bass down on the floor, providing structure but in a more subtle way, acting more as a platform on which the electronics can shine. Movies generally provide us with two versions of the dystopian future. One is dirty and dark and dank and rundown and dangerous; the other is bright, clean, clear, and seemingly perfect on the surface, but equally dangerous. Spaces is the soundtrack to the latter.
Spaces is due out on August 31 as a limited edition vinyl release by Reykjavik’s FALK label. There are a couple of tracks available for listening currently online HERE, and I suspect others will go up next month. You can also buy it as a digital download if you don’t want a physical copy or just want to save a few bucks.