Tabula Rasa EP

Image of Apta - Tabula Rasa EP
Record Label
Black Beacon Sound

About this item

Forged by RPG attempter and wave actuator Apta, 'Tabula Rasa' is a juxtaposition of the saturated apreggios and simplistic melodic repetition of late 80's videogames with his interest in precise, poppy synth production and crisp sidechained pads, both tracing the peripheries of anthemic rock chord progressions and key changes. 'Fading Fire' kicks things off with a simplistic saw wave chug, growing into a mid-heavy DX7 tine before launching straight into the full-spectrum sonic wash of 909 kick and ducked throbs. This churning backdrop is ridden by a snapping, syncopated x0x lead which slowly fades into the rising tide of sweeping filters and twinkling echo before being joined by panned modular strikes and reverbed wood blocks. The motif of thematic repetition and cyclic growth is an intentional nod to (or influence from) cinema and game soundtracking, with a variation on a theme revisited with renewed instrumentation or speed. It's on followers, 'Trial' and 'Esfand' which this shows most clearly, with the former rising from a wistful saw pull and twinkling delayed modular chirps into a driven, clicking surge of ducking synths and staggered snaps, and the latter emerging halfway through from a meandering walk through a sunlit wood into the haze-streamed adjacent plain.

Flip over to the B side and the delayed karplus string plucks and subtly swaying 303 of 'Like Flies' are soon joined by a shuffled hi-hat and panned soaring sine waves, coalescing into a breathing swell of DX7 and guitar. 'The Split' takes this momentum and sets off with a growling portamento and filtered arpeggio before breaking down into a melodic redux of the opening pieces, accentuated with paddling percussives and a pulsing wall of sound working its way underneath. 'Close' finishes things off with a suitably meditative marriage of reverbed piano and flickering drum machines, instruments fading away one by one into a sea of rising rhodes and shimmering bytes. 


Matt says: There's no-one in our (semi)biotic stratosphere that sounds like Apta. Unrelinquishing optimism permeates through countless arrays of New World synthesis. Clean lines and vivid colours decorate his sonic landscape; it's like playing your favourite retro video game whilst suspended in a dreamlike, AI-induced virtual reality that will become the norm in 2050...


1. Fading Fire
2. Trial
3. Esfand
4. Like Flies
5. The Split
6. Close

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