The lyric “something strange to come”, calls in an EP shrouded in mystery and ambiguity, from the point of its inception to the moment the last notes drone out. Polymorphous, the title track of the debut EP from Born in Flamez, utilises the full extent of the distinction between the human voice and electronic instruments, but when I interviewed its creator a few weeks ago, the self-proclaimed transhuman experiment suggested that title has no relevance to any ambiguity that the record might insinuate and is only relevant to the artist. “The ‘I’ who presses the record button itself is a collective of ideas and personas, of marks that others have left on it.” I have however found that these marks, left from various influences, do in fact result in something that would have passed through different stages to arrive at its final form. Stark robotic textures contrast ephemeral vocal lines, which is able to speak to its audience on many different levels through something as abstract as a synth hook.
On Easier like that, this takes the form of luxuriously soft synthesised harmonies that create a bed from which the vocalist seduces his/her listeners, before the metallic percussion makes it’s last appearance on the EP. The layers of ahs and the repetition of the chorus that mark the end of this song and EP, confirm what is the grain of this record, the vocal. This is what draws you to Born in Flamez and this EP. It’s Portishead for a generation of techno enthusiasts. In it’s general form it intersects the electronic foundation in order to communicate the transhuman experiment to its audience. Other times, like during the introduction of Dreams it’s the human-framework for which the trans-electronic form can shape itself.
This is music for a listener to transcend his/her current emotive state. It’s at its most captivating on The Coming Insurrection where beautiful piano motifs fall into dissonances in an effort to relay the doom of a pending situation. The vocalist’s role gets subdued in this sombre arrangement and the beat, which has been a constant for most part of the EP, is rejected completely. It really shows a musician with a focus on the ethereal effects of melody and harmony, without only having to revert to an explanation by way of a lyric or human clarification. It’s not so much something strange that comes through on the Polymorphous, but rather something other, something other than an inquisitive sound design or a gratifying hook. Something, that’s ironically, actually very human.