Review: Mor Elian – Radical Spectacular (Fever AM)

Radical Spectacular is another tangent off of Mor’s sinister beaten track.

The sound of Mor Elian is one categorised by mischief. Whether it be her own productions or ones of others in her DJ sets, Mor’s propensity to slickly curate unexpected and unpredictable rhythmic patterns continue to keep listeners on their toes. Latest three-tracker ‘Radical Spectacular’ unlocks and welcomes us into the alternate universe of Mor, a cosmic underground network of cavernous, mystical dwellings inhabited by a troop of markedly gnarly, unearthly creatures.

Coaxed into the depths with title track ‘Radical Spectacular’, the allure of subtle yet assertive drum patterns, gentle, woody percussive elements and intermittent shimmering cymbal chimes are so pleasing, it’s shivering. Punky bass infused synths residing in the low-end, bring an inquisitive feel; just what is it that Mor has in-store for us? Faint moans waver somewhere in the distant atmosphere of the mid-range, not long before the real charm of this opening track comes to be, as she skips, jumps and switches up the tempo with the off-beat induction of punching 4×4 (not once, but twice!). As the glittering refrain beams celestial energy through the crunching and somewhat sinister elements, ‘Radical Spectacular’ is a somehow warming and colourful, metallic experience, awash with the grit and blackness that makes the music of Mor Elian hers.

Yet, one should not be fooled by such beguiling beginnings, as the ‘Wave Of Alienation’ sweeps us into an electrically charged no-man’s land. Swirling currents and the return of Mor’s coolly combative beats are body jilting. Tight arrangements successfully guide us out of our comfort-zone. We meander through an unnerving dance, shell-shocked and surrounded by troll-like dwellers, whose cackles echo across the cave expanse. Poetic interpretations aside though, ‘Wave Of Alienation’ is a track that delivers exactly as it promises, an unnerving vibe that leaves one feeling very much out on their own. Although evidently crafty in the way she achieves this, the looping pattern ‘Wave Of Alienation’ leaves no room for any particular moment, making for a simple tool in the wider curation of a story.

Mor sees things out with a break-beat workout, aptly named ‘Farewell To The Snare’. A pensive, extra-terrestrial, bleeping melody bobbles as crashing high’s and cutting snares intersect with the rush of laser strikes; pure techno-space-age-warfare lives here. Distorted elements see frequencies climb, whilst the depth of fluttering, terror-some chimes drag us up and out of our heads; the snares remain lusciously crisp. Another loopy affair, that admittedly to some could become tedious, it’s the combination of discrete elements that show Mor’s real genius; The way she layers and blends pads, textures and often plain noise to create rhythm and build mood is truly unique.

An EP that ultimately seems defiant, Mor Elian invites us to join her on a journey through her transformative brand of electronic music. An interesting development within her ever-evolving sound, Radical Spectacular is another tangent off of Mor’s sinister beaten track. It’s hard to follow an EP like Moves Like Atoms, but I get the sense that she didn’t set out to make another EP similar to that. Radical Spectacular sees Mor continuing to taunt and tease us, keeping us attuned and thinking about how this music can be.

Mor Elian’s ‘Radical Spectacular’ EP is out now – get it here.

Words: Sophie McNulty

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