Title: The Teragraph EP
Artist: Professor Kliq
Release Date: Aug 12, 2013
Label: BandCamp / Self-release
License: CC BY-NC-SA
This release from Professor Kliq (aka Mike Else) is unique in the catalog of his output. First noticeable point: the album starts with a 12 minute epic track. Not since ‘Athene’s Theory of Everything: The Original Soundtrack’ has Professor Kliq recorded a track this long. In fact, this release is composed of only three relatively long tracks, the shortest of which clocks in at 7:20. But, before you start to think “Has Professor Kliq gone mad?” let me assure, he is not a mad professor of any sort.
Instead, this is a quite a different, more experimental, release unlike ‘Curriculum Vitae’ but it doesn’t mean that the Kliq his many fans have has disappeared. Instead this release is just an affirmation that Professor Kliq is not resting on his laurels. He is seeking out new territory, new ways to express his ideas, and new perspectives to deliver them. This is the same artist that many of us came to know and love through his ‘The Scientific Method, Volume II: Experiments in Sound & Perspective’ release five years ago. And, in fact, on the opening of that release he said he had spent five years exploring his instruments, learning about sound, learning about engineering and other subjects along his way to creating that release.
So, it’s been another five years, and it’s time again for Professor Kliq to learn more about himself, his methods and his music. This release marks, it would appear, another of those five-year cycles.
There is no better example of something that he has added to his repertoire than the string quartet at around 5 minutes into Depart. The first time I heard it, I thought “well, that was something very unexpected”. And, indeed, this release is full of unexpected little twists and turns, from the more jazz-like upright bass sound of Jellyfish, to the soft, nearly ambient interludes of Teragraph.
While an experimental release may be fine with most of Professor Kliq’s fans, others might be wondering why would they want to listen to it? Simply put, this is an emotive, evocative work. It pulls you in, and keeps you focused on the music. Once you focus on it, you don’t want to leave. You don’t want to split your attention with anything else (like reading a book or writing a review).
Admittedly it took a couple of listens to really grasp what was going on in this release. At first I focused too much on the epic length of Teragraph to allow it to work its charms on me. But once I switched off my logical brain and just rode along with the sounds, I found that I was having an experience that I really enjoyed. If you approach this release in the same way, listen, and let it take you away you will be highly rewarded by this release.
There was one question that I could not quite figure out. What is a teragraph? When I looked up the word, I got all sorts of hits for this release. The closest word I could find was tetragraph or teragram. Of the two, I thought tetragraph may bear some relevance to the style of composition on this release, however I will leave that up to the listener to decide.