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Live Review: Immerse yourself in Gaelen's intrepid introduction, ‘Into The Sea’

25 October 2017 | 9:51 am | Freya Dinesen

Sydney-based DJ / Producer GAELEN has introduced himself with an electronically daubed instrumental narrative, ‘Into The Sea’.

Sydney-based DJ / Producer GAELEN has introduced himself with an electronically daubed instrumental narrative, ‘Into The Sea’.

Gaelen Sultmann is a multi-instrumentalist and avid sampler who is self-taught in the territories of production and DJing: at one end of his musical dexterities, Gaelen is an active member and co-founder of Sydney collective Mixo Lydian; and at the other end, Gaelen creates an amalgamation of melodic, textural, high energy and bass-fuelled music centred around rhythm.

Marking the first fully-fledged solo release by Gaelen, ‘Into The Sea’ flourishes with a remarkable style that is fundamentally crafted by an appreciation and understanding for technical curation. At face value, this track could be interpreted as having a rather random structure, yet it is certainly more describable as an experimental jam with heavy incorporation of esoteric musicality – if we really had to pigeonhole it!

While the hypothesis that we humans evolved from marine creatures may or may not influence our ongoing captivation with water, ‘Into The Sea’ is overtly inspired by the concept of aquatic “rebirth”. This often romanticised notion of wading into the ocean to cleanse the soul and recreating yourself into someone more resilient and fearless can often provide momentary solace from the turbulences of life, fostering a mindfulness of contemplation and reflection to cultivate a deeper sense of purpose.

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Gaelen explains: “The short but lingering moment of muffled calm when submerged underwater is a vivid and powerful experience for me, I think mimicking the cerebral submersion one does in the gentle pursuit of becoming content.”

‘Into The Sea’ opens with stripped-back, resounding keys shaded with gradual alterations to reverberations and timbres, subtly bleeding their resonances to transmute the prefatory tones into a perceptible use of synths. Scarce, simplistic beats soon cascade on this ambience and steadily converge into vast textural layers of percussive rhythms and looping sonic effects before the form again returns to a sentiment of constrained minimalism. This back-and-forth between the song's structures, sonic intricacies and organic and synthetic instrumentation is eventually recast by zealous break-beats that bring the track to its climax, permeating nuances of techno and trance in its course.

Gaelen's 'Into The Sea' not only exhibits his previously latent production talent, but also offers itself as a distinctive and innovative reconstruction of genre and instrumental boundaries that are being continuously broken down by the all-accessible and fast evolving reign of electronic music.

Hopefully we hear more from Gaelen sometime in the near future, but in the meantime we can all bask in this track's musical mindfulness - we promise it gets even better with every play.