OFF/ON is an evolutionary act of fissure, the opening of a rift in FORMA’s sonic landscape. The second LP from the Brooklyn cosmic synth trio of Mark Dwinell, Sophie Lam, and George Bennett, OFF/ON’s universe is darker, its terrain more enigmatic and aggressive than 2011’s critically acclaimed S/T. Recorded at the renowned Schoolhouse space in Bushwick, OFF/ON combines swirling arpeggiations, gnarled sequences, and deconstructed Motorik rhythms to conjure an atmosphere of entropic propulsion by unseen forces. Yet the emotional summits of OFF/ON are greater than those of its predecessor, its crystalline melodic peaks made more pronounced by the shadowed depths below. It is this synthesis that gives OFF/ON its singular vision; a sense of unity forged by its own inner tensions.
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FORMA (Mark Dwinell, Sophie Lam, & George Bennett) emerged on the NYC minimal synth scene in 2010 with a singular vision of cosmic Krautrock for a new age. On their eponymous debut LP, the Brooklyn-based electronics trio merges the melodic flow and primitive rhythms of their motorik predecessors with the hypnotic drones of minimalism, creating an intricate work both addicting and rewarding with repeat listens. Like many of the LP’s 11 tracks, the churning and relentless “FORMA237B” draws its energy from a precarious equilibrium between structural rigidity and free improvisation, a dynamic at the heart of FORMA’s universe. With lush, distant soundscapes as interludes between these peaks, FORMA’s inaugural full-length is a harmonious and expansive expression of the enduring power of kosmische musik. Mark Dwinell and Sophie Lam: (Roland RS-09, Roland SH-1000, Roland RE-101, Yamaha CS-15, Crumar DS-2, Oberheim SEM, DSI Morpho, Moog LP, Farfisa Compact Combo), George Bennett (Roland TR-707, Alesis HR-16B). Cut at Dubplates & Mastering, March 2011.