Riddles For A Machine

Luurel Varas

Crash Symbols, 2023


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Tallinn, Estonia based producer and artist Luurel Varas finds himself fully immersed in eclectic electronic ideas on this third cassette with the always unique Crash Symbols label. Consisting of 12 well thought out tracks, it hosts plenty of diverse textures and highly creative ambience that is illuminated by the inestimable Jorgen Hermaste’s fantastic mastering.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Nocturn” starts the listen with a cryptic atmosphere, as crisp drumming and a charming, jazzy mood that’s stylish and richly playful builds with much allure. “SZT2” follows, and it presents a soothing buzzing and some videogame-esque moments alongside the dreamy backdrop that immediately draws the listener in.

The middle tracks are where some of the best tunes land, and includes the nearly mechanical gestures of the mesmerizing, robotic “2000W.” “Phantom Island,” the album highlight, then births plenty of layered grooves amid electronic tinkering that’s hypnotic and unpredictable. “Timeout,” the longest track at over 11 minutes, then spreads out with waves of meditative song craft that cultivates a very unique version of serenity in a way that brings to mind New Age sensibilities.

“Drag” resides deep on the back half, and it mashes psychedelic and pop nods into a spacey formula that’s oddly soothing, before “Salted Caramel” finishes the experience with an easily accessible and slightly sci-fi flavored haze of beauty and warmth.

Certainly on par with his previously electronic work, Riddles’ sparing but effective stabs at funk, jazz, New Age and psychedelic noises is much appreciated, and the strong emphasis on melodies, atmosphere and shimmering sonic prowess showcases all the details that separate Varas from other similar artists.

Crash Symbols is strictly a cassette label(!), but, not so surprisingly, those are sold out, so the digital route is going to have to suffice for all you seekers of innovative and unconventional music.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2023 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Crash Symbols, and is used for informational purposes only.