Romi Reviews #1 - Polygonia and Popp’s "Candid"

Romi Reviews #1 - Polygonia and Popp’s "Candid"

I’ve just started my time here at CloserCloserCloser, so thought I’d launch this new chapter with an inaugural record review of an album I’ve been enjoying in the shop. When I think about what I love in an album, I feel very drawn to journeys that provide an emotional story, blurring the lines of a spiritual experience encouraged through organic sounds. The first record I’ve chosen to review has hit that spot effortlessly.

We’re chatting Polygonia and Popp’s “Candid”, their first collaborative piece, an album that I felt best enjoyed listened to in full, with every track seamlessly transitioning into the next. I’m familiar with Polygonia’s productions, although not so much of Popp’s. I listened to some of his productions, specifically his 2022 release “Blizz” and was eagerly pulled in. He mentions that he loves pushing boundaries with his instruments to see what noise can be drawn out, which can clearly be heard within “Blizz” and “Candid”. The album follows a theme of mysticism, herbalism, and textural happiness. I wrote that last sentence and later read the Bandcamp page and they basically confirm the same thing… so… 

The opening track “Ronpchi” paints the mood of the album thoughtfully. Primal-like noises provide a soundscape of colour and warmth, a groove that beckons movement in your feet to the immediate but gentle gradience of sound. It then moves on to “Honsu", a playful number. The inclusion of vocals and jazzy sounds allows it to be a tasteful opener or closer in a set. The track is quite comprehensive in its layering, throwing in elements of hip-hop and 90’s culture, showcasing the artists’ dynamic range. 

I’m recently delving into the world of record collecting, but am no stranger to dropping the tempo of a track right down to give it a slowed out dubby feel. Trying this out to “Lian” and “Benbut” did not leave me disappointed. You can really hear Polygonia in “Lian”, instantly taking off with that gorgeous rolling sound. The track has multiple unpredictable turns, with an eerie feel that is resemblant of a sinister lullaby in a horror film. Many of the tracks on Side A were also enjoyed sped up to allow for a wobblier feel that would be dancefloor appropriate. 

Side B, definitely the more effervescent and wonky side of the record, enjoyed in full as a hoppy, experimental musical journey. The songs follow a flow collectively while remaining quite intricate in themselves. Popp’s percussive skill and both artists' polyrhythmic nature shines throughout the second half of the album. It’s a gripping sonic whirlwind, taking different instruments and sounds for a spin and then heading down a pretty rogue path. 

Penultimate track, “Ysop”, has a lovely melodic intro, gentle but quite deep and mystical. I think this track relates back to the theme of this whole album quite nicely. Fairytale-like tones provide visuals of mythical creatures, frolicking around the woods. The track very naturally builds into a feral like state, to what I envision would soundtrack animals turning wild in a jungle like rave.

The album is finished off simply. The whole journey wrapped up beautifully and hints of every track being tied off by the closer.  It’s a rarity to experience an electronic-based album that progresses so coherently into itself. Without the abrupt shift of sound between each track. An LP that you can put on and just forget about.

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