On this u-cover's first release, Koen Lybaert takes seventy minutes out of your life to show a world filled with technoid rhythms, incredibly dark ambience, and an array of alien experimental directions along the way.
Leaning into a more layered and experimental direction as opposed to previous releases such as “dante's carnival” and “amplified tones,” Lybaert pushes the minimalistic dub to a further level, utilizing trance induced rhythmics with multi-structured percussive elements and scattered effects with an exploration in dark ambient strings.
on the first track, "rituals for dying 5am" , we are sluggishly hypnotized with driving and flanged technoid beats that intensify and are swallowed by various ascending rhythms and abrasive elements. these elements continue to tangle and build to a ferocity which towards the last few minutes of the track is slowly drowned by a dominating dark drone element.
The listener is gradually engulfed by the next track, "liquid for females." On this thick noir track, we drift into very beautiful and introspective string compositions that simply define the term “dark ambience.” The strings rise and decline in powerful atmospheric waves; this is one of my favorite overall tracks from starfish pool, it is simply a masterpiece by itself.
Track three, "rituals for dying 3 pm" leads us into a bouncy subterranean trip that is attacked with a menagerie of swirling aquatic textures, static-charged drones, echoing phases, and a variety of enhanced bubbling beats and percussives. Halfway through we drip into the aquatic textures, rest for a bit while the emerging rhythms regroup once more. these rhythms then are encountered by the warm and derelict envelopes of yet another stage of this trip. The atmospheres become warmer and thicker, almost to the point of suffocation, but track four pulls us deeper into the depths of "walk on high."
Here we encounter a trip into the ritualistic rhythms of a world never existed. Filtered and stuttered drones fly in and out of the building mystical rhythms as they grow heavier. Halfway through, the percussives fade and are slowly engulfed by the heavy drones, slowly and effectively. Rhythms try to emerge again, but only for awhile, until chaotically attacked by convulsive abrasives and creeping obscure drones and subtle phases. Yet another very strong track on this release.
We end this off-world trip wondering where our life has been in the past 70 minutes.