Xosar – Holographic Matrix

Xosar has been a constant burr in club-land’s more provocative corners. Adorning labels like L.I.E.S, Rush Hour and Créme Organisation, the Dutch musician’s work is tantamount to the punk aesthetic and left field eclecticism they represent in Techno and House, and as much as Xosar’s work is informed by them, it also shapes the idea of what they are. Xosar’s creative expression stems from noisy uncooperative machines that play on feeling more than utility in the marginal aspects of dance culture and its music. With a selective yet concise discography that stretches back to 2012, Xosar has never been an artist to release music for the sake of a release, and we are able to discern very calculated ideas with strong themes running through individual releases. Holographic Matrix is no different and sees the artist once again going at it alone, neglecting to release an album on a label, for what we can only assume are reasons of personal artistic freedom.

For those acquainted with Xosar and her more vibrant House constructions, like The Calling, Holographic Matrix recalls more of the spirit of another uncompromising self-released work, Xosar’s debut Psychick Justice. Like that debut from a few years back, Xosar wanders into darker territory than previous EP’s, to a place where tense atmospheres and sinister mysticism walk hand in hand. On this occasion, Xosar has opted for a Techno aesthetic with big kicks cracking through the ether of dense layers of staccato harmonies and muggy timbres of reverb and incandescent delays. It’s malicious, yet subtle – an aggressive music rounded at the edges with woozy layers of transcending effects. It’s at its most impressive during the middle of the album where the title track impresses with a breathy vocal and mystical melodies flowing carelessly through the rigid arid landscape of the percussive onslaught. Holographic Matrix is dotted with contrasting anomalies as submissive ambient arrays counterpoint the harsh foundation of industrial Techno. It happens on a macro level through the album’s narrative, with a steep rise in energy to the crucial plot, which is focussed on the darker corners of the dance floor, before inevitably and controllably, sliding to a blissful serene end and the ultimate track on the album, Psychick Torrent – it seems to share some significance with the artist’s debut.

Holographic Matrix’s most striking feature however is the sound palette Xosar appropriates. Densely layered synthesisers, negating any trending sounds, form intense waves of pulsating sound design that hark back to early days of rave culture without sounding dated. Xosar’s music on HM is dense without being oppressive with the luminescent ring of faint melodies running all the way through, opening up into a world of mystifying intrigue as the industrial percussion rolls rather than stomps. The design is more maximalist than anything Xosar has created before, and as a result I would like to suggest that this is probably her most personal album to date. Where Psychick Justice let her be herself, Holographic Matrix is her expressing in the most universally effective way. Xosar has managed to shape elements intended for the dance floor into something wholly personal and inventive on Holographic Matrix and it marks a definitive move in sound and aesthetic for the artist.