Six long years later, and Pariah (AKA Arthur Cayzer) is back in action. His latest offering, Here From Where We Are, is set to be released on Houndstooth this Friday – the artist-led offshoot of Fabric Records. With label-mates like Call Super, Special Request and Aïsha Devi, Pariah – and his arsenal of swirling synths – slots in perfectly.
Here From Where We Are is a significant step away from Cayzer’s 2010 EP Safehouses. Where Safehouses, with its interlocking drum samples, was far more influenced by Cayzer’s beginnings in London dubstep, Here From Where We Are is a beautifully controlled record, entirely void of percussion, and relying instead on each individual synth-line to lead you through.
With an ambient record, it’s almost too easy to see it as a whole, because each track is engineered to blend perfectly into the next. The task lies in discerning each track for its individual merits. “Linnaea” was the first single to be released from the album, and it’s a wonder to behold. It’s simple yet euphoric in the way its chord progressions lift you up, as if towards the light at the end of a tunnel. Every layer is entirely considered, and placed precisely, allowing you to tune in and out of each line as you so desire. It’s a very peaceful track, almost classical in its effect, which is enhanced by the elusive flute line that enters towards the end. Where “Linnaea” is peaceful, the opening track “Log Jam” is entirely energised, if not anxiously so. The abrasively industrial main sample takes the place of drums, and is enough to push the track forwards, reminiscent of Oneohtrix Point Never’s “Boring Angel“.
The title track provides the perfect destination for the record. Cayzer utilises his samples as emotively as a concert pianist, and lets the curtains close on the soothing sound of running water. It’s synecdochic of the record as a whole – Cayzer takes you by the hand, leads you to the edge of the void, and makes you alright with the world.