Biff Johnson and Shelley Andrews
Epic in all parameters ! Deep immersion, incredible hardware bliss, and tough and low grooves. Some of which are slow and really low end dub downtempo events to sway your soul. Both discs are special in their own way. Such as The airlock sound shapeshifting on disc 1 to the low dub on disc 2. This is a soaring fireball of the final Variant project. The contextured integrity has been inscrutable and mesmerizing with the forms this genre makes possible. I can only dream of what is next.
Favorite track: Return To Auratia [Enchantment].
Recorded at the same time as its predecessor, "Return to Auratia" captures the chilly, arctic essence of the original, dubbed out to infinity. A sonic world all its own!
"Auratia" is made entirely with hardware, paying homage to infinite forms of synthesis, from analog, dco, waveshaping, vector, there's a myriad of forms explored producing unique results. Vintage analog equipment in conjunction with innovative customized modular synthesizers winnow a basis for algorithmic structure improvisation. This sound experiment re-synthesizes from a current plane into altered planes of effects-a radically new experience that breaks down barriers. Ghostly harmonics fold and unfold like symmetrical patterns in nature to generate a myriad of complex and infinite rhythmic lines. Tessellations for higher dimensions, this mosaic of melody delivers an eccentric experience. Something for the heads in search of sonic meditation with 2 near 60 minute infinite pieces of organic dub grooves with an emphasis on synthesis experimentation and out-of-this world sonic apparitions.
"What I give form to in daylight is only one per cent of what I have seen in darkness." -M. C. Escher
Thoughts on Auratia (Volume One):
"Even by the usually epic standards of Echospace - who are, after all, no strangers to long, drawn-out tracks - Auratia is particularly grandiose in concept and introduction. Inspired by one of the worst blizzards in Michigan's history, and containing sounds and textures that started out as field recordings, this latest missive from Stephen Hitchell's solo Variant project is made up of two tracks, each around an hour long. While hard to get a handle on from short clips, it's as beautiful, intoxicating and immersive as anything he's produced to date. Sat somewhere between drone, ambient and dub techno, Auratia is at times becalmed, intense, picturesque and, predictably, rather chilly." -Juno
Chicagoan producer Steven Hitchell aka Soultek releases under his Variant name on the Detroit Echospace output that he runs alongside Rod Modell aka Deepchord. The epic two CD, two track release made entirely out of hardware draws out an intense droning soundscape with hints of steady techno. The sound comes in a similar vain to the likes of Biosphere or Monolake with its dark, ambient sensitivities. It’s a steady build up that draws you in with its cinematic narrative and dark, heroic awe. -Bleep
Some terrific heartfelt words on the first volume of "Auratia" from our wonderful fans, thank you for sharing.
"it's all around me but i can not touch it. it's so deep. so liquid. echospace you're the best guide in the ocean..." -Glenn Wever
"My repeat button is broken. Subtle movements that only button repeat offers.Lost,Found, gone & repeat." -Smoke-Wind
"Variant is easily a few dimensions away from us by now, and this transmission is the evidence. Cosmic surfing of the highest and haziest grade." -Ginger Aribarn
"Sublime and beyond deep, another exquisite excursion." -jimbaloo
"I haven't been this hypnotised since TV Victor's invitation to a Trance Garden." -caustic widow
"Auratia provoked lots of thoughts concerning popular music or lack of it being as truthful and exploratory as this is. The youth in urban America have been betrayed by what everyone is touting as good innovative music.This should be played 24/7 in all urban centers across the world instead and maybe it will get everyone centered of what is really going on in modern music. Music this uplifting and positive should be the new anthem of future generations.Yes.this is that vital !!!" -Biff Johnson
released December 10, 2016
written + produced by stephen hitchell. mastered in echospace.