Transiting through bases such as Toronto, New York and, more recently, Berlin, the air and echoes of each city square off Aquarian’s parallel reality. Mutations I: Death, Taxes and Hanger is the latest vivid document of this very notion of travelling – appealing to an immensely refined and infinite sensory pulse. Sponsored by Dekmantel and Aphex Twin, the Canadian producer combines all the nerve of breakcore with the textural charge of drone, dissecting electro with brio and making room for cryptic melodies. The Sneak That Eats Itself had already offered important indications of the cinematic nature that consciously or not haunts the corners of his productions. Far from the familiar techno framework, creative resolutions emerge where it would be hard to imagine – but which we intuitively take for granted.
For someone who entered the international circuit through obscure bars and parties in suspicious basements, Aquarian brings with him a natural curiosity for experimentation and novelty. The permanent metamorphoses of his narratives take on non-linear forms and are tuned to a global geographic-temporal ear that only thickens all the sound material. He also shares a desire for urgency and rupture with other contemporaries such as Zomby, Lee Gamble or Objekt – making surprise an essential tool. At the same time as this digital macumba, he founded the Hanger Management label, where he is also revealing a more oblique side to his vast body of work to date. To see Aquarian in Lisbon is to listen to the other side of electronics, the kind that stimulates body and mind. NA