Greece’s Vasilis Angelopoulos has a rich, dark ambient five-track cassette release for us called My Body, Your Temple. Recording under the name Conjecture, this tape will resonate well beyond the genre he’s best known for.
Works like this tend toward the dramatic, which is fine provided the composer steers clear of melodrama. Angelopoulos has things firmly in control. Over the course of its 27 minutes, the cassette never feels over the top.
Part of its success is the variety of sounds he’s weaved together. The tape opens with “A” (each of the titles are simply lettered “A” to “E”). It may as well have been called “AI,” as in ambient industrial. Angelopoulos pairs banging metal with foreboding synth lines set to over-modulate throughout much of the track.
“B” continues in a similar vein. If you’d asked my friends and me back in the 1980s what we thought music would sound like in the future, this isn’t far from what we would have described. As electronic music continues to mature, artists like Angelopoulos are pushing the artform in intriguing directions. It’s virtually impossible to get bored of music like this.
“C” features a collaboration with Aevin, another artist in the Raumklang Music stable. That German label has co-released My Body, Your Temple with the Amek imprint. Sure enough, this piece feels denser than the others. We get a centerpiece synth line that wouldn’t be out of place on a Nine Inch Nails or even Depeche Mode track. Set against the album’s less structured, ambient sounds, the pair deliver one of the tape’s brighter highlights.
I’m pleased to report that “E” is not a drug reference. Instead, the album comes to a suitably gritty, shadowy close. It will leave you neither smiling nor disappointed.