Experimental music stalwart Graham Dunning‘s newest release via the Every Contact Leaves a Trace imprint Panopticon is conceptually interesting as it is sonically, and this is a tough crosshairs to hit, but once again, Dunning does this effortlessly. Dunning reverse engineered and then replaced video game sounds with his own sounds and used the gameplay triggers as a compositional tool as we understand it, with some really interesting and rhythmic results. Panopticon starts off with mid to mid-fast tempo jarring, hammering beats, ala Pan Sonic reel to reel demos 300% sped up and progresses into more delightful sonic madness from there. Dunning’s beats and rhythmic structures are complex; alienating, cold, and yet delicate and nuanced. Oscillating between glitched out, hammering beats, to more distorted, churning, slower-moving sections, the sound and structure of Panopticon is always changing, and always refreshing and building upon it’s previous iterations.
“The research consists of four main phases: The first phase involves extraction of the silhouette of an individual. Calculating the gait period or gait cycle of the individual follows this. Finding the sum of silhouettes is the next step. Finally, similarity score computation and matching process is performed for recognition. Any two images when compared using root mean square value are said to be similar if the value falls under the given threshold.”
Like the eye in the sky it can see you but it can also control you from all sides, slowly reeling you into a violent, repetitive system that slowly encapsulates you and rapidly shoots your flailing body down the robotic assembly line into the center of sound itself. Complicated and dense, Panopticon is one for the sonic adventurer delving into the sonics of cybernetics cast across a futuristic, barren, wasteland.