Continuity. It’s something that eludes many artists when they approach the album format in the House and Techno genres. Most opt for directing the focus on a few key dance floor wonders and fill out the rest with the padding of a beat-less track. This is certainly not the case for Swedish producer Acronym and his latest foray into the format, June. Incredibly close to the release of Mu from earlier this year, the familiar sonic signature that plays in elements of Techno and Ambience immediately comes to the fore, and traces an even line between the two releases. The closeness of these consecutive releases suggest the artist has reached something of a creative stride and judging from June, I would risk the assumption that it’s only still at the base of an artistic peak.
Isolated from the land sets the opening scene with warm synthesisers floating up into dissonant intervals filling the stereo field with its hauntingly beautiful atmosphere. June is ambient for the most part of its beginning, creating location specific imagery through associated sounds found in nature, like those crickets chirping in the background or the sound of water dripping. Acronym accompanies these synthesised sounds with harmonies that carry the weight of a feeling along with them. In the swamp’s oppressive sonic ambience gives the listener the very real sensation of sitting in the humidity of that specific location while No Exit is rather more optimistic than its title would imply as dissonant intervals end in consonant phrases to open up the claustrophobic spaces of the swamp that came before it. The songs flow from one in to the other forming a single thread of narration that continuously builds up to some far off moment in time. By the time we reach Centering we are only at the beginning of the plotline with a regular 4/4 kick making its first appearance in a lighter version of the atmospheres that preceded it. Like the morning’s fog lifting off, the sense of trepidation softens without never quite comfortably dissipating, and we get the sense that we are in to the eye of a storm.
That storm is eventually embodied by Realisation, the climax of June (and I suspect something the artists intended with the title of that track). A ratchety synth sequence and repetitive kicks start filling the empty space left behind as the padding of those ethereal tones from the opening begin to retract further into the background. We have reached a point of no return and it’s at this point where Acronym’s clear disposition towards Techno is made obvious. In it’s natural state the track would have little effect on the dance floor, merely wadding out the beginning of a set, but in the context of June it hastens the speed of the narrative to the point of something best described as an action sequence. A sequence carried through to the broken beat of Back to understanding before softening again in the tribal nature of The Eye and eventually concluding in Letting go of it all, a type of end-sequence track that seems to make up a collage of what preceded it – not particularly with summing up the themes, but rather like incorporating all the different aesthetics into one composition.
June’s appeal is definitively secure in the way it unfolds so beautifully, taking the listener on some obscurely wistful journey through distinct scenes, but it shouldn’t deflect from the inherit splendour of the way Acronym uses harmony to set these scenes. The Swedish producer creates magnificently visceral moments where it feels like a mood is almost forced upon its listener, just before resolving again into the next phase. The way he constructs the harmonic movements is so calculated, nothing is left up to chance and if there’s an emotion to be had, Acronym will be the one to dictate it. The artist lets the music do all the talking on June, much like the mysterious Swede does in all his work. Sitting back in my chair as June concludes I suddenly realise not a single word was spoken or sung through the whole album, yet it seems I have just been given a 500-page manuscript. June is a storyboard without single speech bubble and yet makes complete sense. Continuity. It’s definitely not an issue for June, but it’s not its only strength. It’s tour de force lies in the way Acronym arrived at the continuity through creating the harmonic plot that underscores June.
*You can stream the whole album now via Juno Plus