- When Aleksi Perälä started uploading Colundi Sequence releases to his Bandcamp in 2014, you might not have predicted the music's wide appeal. Perälä's spooky and translucent tracks, made with a DIY tuning system and drifting freely between styles, seemed to build their own dreamlike world rather than connecting with dance music at large. But some DJs heard potential in the music's rippling expanses. The likes of Marcel Dettmann and Ben Klock clocked Colundi plays and, via a couple of vinyl compilations, interest in the project grew.
We're now in a place where Len Faki is doing pumping big-room edits of Colundi tracks. His generic retoolings sucked out the project's charm, but it's probably safe to assume that Perälä regards all publicity as good publicity. The UK-based Finn considers Colundi not just a musical project but a semi-religious worldview, and his recent releases have gamely evangelised to his swelling audience. This year's droning, panoramic Simulation for Clone sounded like an acid-fried New Ager making peaktime techno weapons. And now there's this ten-track full-length for Nina Kraviz—another inveterate player of Colundi tracks—which explores further routes towards world domination.
Paradox sounds big even when it's not particularly banging. Take the slinky A2 (like most Colundi tracks, the ones on Paradox appear to be named after their 12-digit ISRC codes), whose bouncing leads and sweet-sour chords fizz with latent energy. Or the darker A3, with its grand yet mournful melody and huge, step-laddering bassline. These tracks demonstrate Perälä's ear for hooks that speak loud in spite of the modest way they're delivered. He's had this knack since his Rephlex days, but the Colundi project elevates it to an art form.
In other places the gestures get bolder, without a Faki-like ironing out of Colundi's creases. The album's highpoint is its midpoint, with a three-track run in which Perälä's trademark microtonal arps are sent into spine-tingling overdrive. The B1 takes the shimmering euphoria of Simulation to newly epic heights, while the B2 is a moment of grand-scale introspection, its droning synth lines roaming in pitch over a soft techno pulse. The best of the lot is the B3, whose minor-key arps explode in a climax geared to blow minds in a big room.
Elsewhere, Perälä turns his attention from his synths towards his drums. Several tracks experiment with harder percussion. C1 has a muscular momentum and snaggletoothed bassline. C2 is brawny, broken-beat techno. C3 is positively slamming and thick with hallucinatory synth lines. Colundi drums have always had a certain stiff quality, and these tracks are only halfway towards sounding like modern techno bangers. That's not a bad thing.