Transitional Being collects six trippy shorts from the archives of Zaheer Gulamhusein, aka XVARR – sampling snapshots from ten years of music produced in his London-based TWIN WOMB studio. In doing so it maps a decade of machine ceremonies which reference witchcraft and magic, and in particular the late magician, Andrew Chumbley. The mage`s painstakingly researched personal school of sorcery, “The Crooked Path”, actually lends its name to one of the mechanized marches included – where wobbling woodblock, muted marimba-like percussion is reverb-ed and delayed, masked within a big room kick. Effectively a retrospective, the mini-LP is a sort of sonic grimoire of techno-pagan rituals that take classic house rhythms and strip them down, reduce them to snares and sub-bass.
The racing opener, Running Out Of Time, “twinkles” with sequences that recall Mr. Fingers` essential Chicago moment, Stars, while the track`s emotive strings touch on Sabres Of Paradise`s Smokebelch. Everything here is sparse and spare, but orchestrated, highly strung. The titular tune, Transitional Being, snaps, rattles, and pops, creating a rushing calm – something like CiM`s seminal Shift. The abstract emissions, and buoyant bleeps, that puncture the cool, groovy, Contemplation construct a mutant jazz – something that could shimmy alongside Hoshina Anniversary`s recent ESP Institute long-player, Jomon. In contrast, Apex is slow, sedate, somnambulant.
The closing Universal is a little longer, extended, a little more epic – those snares doing their thing beneath rising sirens and gated, gaseous, chords. Almost, almost, ambient.
XVARR`s Transitional Being is available to order directly from new Seance Centre off-shoot, Aural Medium. The record is highly recommended for fans of Music From Memory’s Virtual Dreams compilation, and especially for those into Going Good`s avant-electro output.