(All Album Reviews by Mark Newman)
AeTopus is the work of Bryan Tewell Hughes, a Bellingham, Washington-based multi-instrumentalist and visual artist, who composes and plays a remarkable array of electronic music.
Like Patrick O’Hearn, Hughes is a former bassist who displays a wonderful sense of rhythm in his compositions, which range from pastoral new age to teutonic Berlin school beats.
AeTopus offers an audio amalgam of world beat influences, weaving its spell from assorted ethnic effects and tribal percussive elements. Occasionally, the sequences are more akin to something from Klaus Schulze or the music once found on the Narada labels.
There is very little droning minimalism here as Hughes likes to explore tempo and timbre, never allowing himself to get lost for too long. He is a master of evoking a sense of spirituality and space.
Offering electronic music that is both expansive and exciting, AeTopus is a refreshing new face among the more recognized names within the genre. Tempula is his second release (following 2002’s Memories Of The Elder). Here’s hoping there’s plenty more to come.