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“Kronos” by Sonarpilot’

A percussive synth harmony seeps into the air like a thick fog, and before we know it we’re surrounded by providential sounds that are larger than life yet delivered unto us subtly. A muted sense of melodicism is barely audible but ominously wanders the outskirts of the synth, which is slowly getting bigger as we drift towards Sonarpilot’s exuberant grand arrangement. His latest single “Kronos” starts patiently, but it doesn’t take very long for it to come undone from the gravity of Sonarpilot’s rousing musicianship. He’s presenting us with a true blanket of sonic intrusion here, dripping with a honey-like melodicism that is instantly recognizable as unique and exclusive to his brand of contemporary ambient music alone.

With a kick of the synthetic percussion, Sonarpilot informs us that though this dream that we’re all traveling within together is tough as nails and never getting any shorter than it is today, we’re going to have to press on if we have any hope of realizing who we are when we’re at our most exposed. The edge of reason is where this arrangement can be pushed, and he’s willing to take us there if it means we all get a little closer together in the end. His patterned rhythm echoes off of the synth parts that are swirling relentlessly in the foreground, and it’s all too easy for us to get hypnotized by the harmony that is being conjured in the beautiful chaos that we’re witnessing firsthand.

Everything almost comes apart as we shift into the next act of the track, but Sonarpilot makes sure to reel us in from the fire before we get burned by the flames. Every note in “Kronos” has its place, and even when the song starts to devolve into something almost industrial in tone, nothing ever escapes from where it was intended to sit. Sonarpilot is a very meticulous composer, and so far I haven’t found any of his music to be shapeless or off the wall in the least. As much as people say that today’s experimental music fan demands elaborate songwriting that incorporates as many savage accents and twisted overdubs as possible, there’s something satisfying about listening to a song like this one, which relies only on its self-conscious, literate textures to make fans fall in love with its grandeur.

“Kronos” concludes in operatic fashion, fading into the ethers in a tizzy of symphonic synths and closing textural expressions offered to us in a half-whisper. Devoid of the malevolent self-centeredness of the average pop single and packed with powerful melodies, ornate verses, and a playful harmony that demands a reaction out of anyone within earshot, the new single from Sonarpilot is yet another graceful effort from the brilliantly talented musician and songwriter, who is turning out to be one of 2023’s hidden treasures. Music enthusiasts who crave the soft sway of traditional ambient with the edge of modern experimentalism would do well to give this song a spin as soon as possible ahead of the winter season.

Mindy McCall



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