Back To Akert is an electronic/noise composer from Brazil that cites his music as a purely experimental and ‘stream-of-consciousness style’ affair. And after listening to his album, Better Than More, I can see why. What I have here is an incredibly experimental album that challenges the listener in both their patience and their taste of music. When listening through to Better Than More on the first try, I felt lost, but tried to bear in mind the background and style of Back To Akert.
When listening here, you have to be careful to not write off a track straight away as things aren’t as simple as they seem – there is a lot to listen to and understand here. With every track, I felt like I was looking at a surrealist painting that had me questioning myself: ‘Is this too deep for me?’ On certain tracks, I felt this to be very true, like Hundreds Thousands. Hundreds Thousands was, for me an incredibly difficult track to listen to: the constant stopping and starting of the lead synth felt like an attack on my ears. Then you try and listen out for the melody and the changes in progression and you start to wonder why you think you don’t like the track.
The bloody synth did me in.
There are plenty of tracks, like Hundreds Thousands, that are incredibly difficult to listen to, but not because they sound bad, but because they feel so challenging – I have a hard time pinning them down. Like the track Always on the Point, which feels like a barrage of retro samples, sweetie synths and a bag of surprises. This track, like others was always contorting and changing, forcing multiple listens and even some thoughts to be cast on YOUR opinion of music. By the by, I love the synth that comes in during the ending of Always on the Point and how it mutates, grossly.
After listening through a few times, you can pick out some of the more down to earth tracks and I started feeling like these ones were trying to cheat me. Tracks like, Savour Patience (a solo piano track) and Capybara Family (a strange collections of blown synth and keys), all felt like they were the ‘singles’ of this album and they’re nice breaks between the madness, but they almost feel out of place.
What I really know that I like from this album, is how sinister it sounds in its quieter moments. Gyorsan vesszo Ritmikusan, Break Fourth and Repose, all have this unsettling vibe about the instrumentation in a similar way to Aphex Twin and his earlier ambient work. It’s not just in the instruments, but the progressions themselves and how Back to Akert unravels his stream of madness in both the notes he’s playing and the way he’s playing them.
I think something as abstract as Better Than More, can catch an amateur like me off guard – on the one hand I can come up with multiple reasons why I dislike and like the album, but at the same time, I cannot articulate any real criticism. Again, it’s much like art in a museum and YOUR opinion of it – You may think it doesn’t deserve to be there because of the colour the artist has used and you may like something else because of the things the artist didn’t paint.
However you look at it, Back To Akert’s album, Better Than More, will challenge the you and push your boundaries to new lengths. Whether you like it or not, this is the sort of music that can try and test both a writer and a listener.
Also, there is another album to be released soon and it’s ‘very conceptual and deals with war and loss with a sci-fi theme. If that sounds like your thing, you can check it out, here.
Listen to it and tell me what YOU think.
Please excuse me, this was difficult to review.