Sladerfluous Reviews: ‘Adventures in Bitscape’ by Batou

- Posted August 28th, 2017 by

‘Adventures in Bitscape’ by Batou fills the vacuum of space with a passionate, thought-provoking soundscape that you absolutely need to stabilize into your own orbit.

Chill, delightful, and contemplative, ‘Adventures in Bitscape’ is a focused concept album featuring 6 cohesive tracks delivering a musical jaunt through the far reaches of space and beyond. Batou focuses on a sparse, precise collection of sounds to augment an ever-present effective use of silence and the space between notes in an evolving experience that absolutely delivers on its promise to send you off on a contemplative journey through the empty reaches of space and beyond with grace and chip-style.

‘Adventures in Bitscape’ is billed as “…a short concept EP based on the adventures of a lone astronaut, who leaves home to travel to the edge of the observable universe” by writer and producer Steven Marciano aka Batou, hailing from London, UK. Just shy of a 30-minute run time, ‘Adventures in Bitscape’ offers a smooth flowing stream of 6 ambient tracks each expanding where the last leaves off for a mind-melting journey across the universe that relaxes and inspires.

Each track within ‘Adventures in Bitscape’ build on the last to lay out a complete arc of exploration from lift-off to eager excitement, from contemplative loneliness to the spark of discovery, and from the dogged pursuit of a fleeting celestial companion to the final reflection of a journey spent. Batou has composed a crisp, lean concept album that sparks imagination and gets out of its own way to deliver a truly uplifting ambient experience.

A full breakdown of all six tracks from ‘Adventures in Bitscape’ continues below:

 

‘The Departure’ is a soft, alluring entrance into Batou’s experimental etherial style across ‘Adventures in Bitscape’. No sense of danger or high-stakes exploration, rather purposeful tweaks to a slowly evolving melody lift you into Batou’s sonic experience with swollen echoes and distant chimes. ‘The Departure’ clearly represents its namesake, delivering a sense of preparations to leave without knowing what lies beyond through a persistent percussive foundation, and Batou’s introductory track expertly sets the expectation for a journey of self-reflection and discovery.

‘The Dancing Nebula’ carries on where ‘The Departure’ leaves off, relying on a sparse melody to carry over a feathered percussion. This absence of fanfare exemplifies a sense of the trudge of a long journey and the fight between expectation of reward and the value of the journey itself. Do you check your desires at the door, or do you use them to persevere? Batou challenges both perspectives simultaneously through fleeting bouts of culminating tones against moments of haunting emptiness with great success.

‘The Bridge’ galavants within a much more wondrous soundscape than the easeful first two tracks of ‘Adventures in Bitscape’ through the dynamic use of deep vibrating tones, crackling signals, and a constantly descending melody to push the limits audio can convey expanse with to the very edge. The twinge of unease created by these crackles and swells give way to the glistening melody; a constant push back between fear and courage.

‘The Impossible Ocean’ marks the first real sense of discovery throughout ‘Adventures in Bitscape’, where the first half of the album has revelled in an overwhelming peace despite loneliness, ‘The Impossible Ocean’ twinkles with sparkling chimes and cascading chirps, painting a wondrous vision of reality-defying discovery. Peace through vindication rules here as a long trek bears fruit and underscores the value of perseverance. Batou’s shift into more tangible tones that stay with you and blot out the expanse reward you with a sense of renewed purpose while building excitement for the journey still to come.

‘The Pursuit’ is a perfect thematic transition away from ‘The Impossible Ocean’ employing a frenetic undercurrent beneath a more hurried melody to create a sense of opportunity requiring immediate action. There is a very real sense of risk, and depending on your perspective regarding the first half of the album that risk will either be a disturbance of the self-reflective peace you’ve earned in the silent expanse, or the discovery of a singular missing piece of your galactic sanctuary and the need to secure it at all costs.

‘The Edge of the Universe’ is an 8-minute monolith closing out ‘Adventures in Bitscape’ with the sound of rolling tides beneath a bright, sparse melody offering reflection after a lengthy bout of self-reflection. Calm and safety rule the day; the tone is light, welcoming, and the period on the end of an exploration. ‘The Edge of the Universe’ borrows from its predecessors to remind you of your journey through deliberate swells and a dutiful snare marching you toward a delightful, low-key conclusion.


Batou’s foray beyond the stars succeeds through restraint and precision. With today’s technology at modern artists’ fingertips, it is worth noting the level of self-discipline it takes to keep from adding more and more bells and whistles, instead remaining subdued and decisive when it comes to compositional choice. Batou’s strict employment delivers a grounded, skillful performance that allows you to breathe your own moments into ‘Adventures in Bitscape’; a welcome treat essential for connection with each piece that personalizes your experience and all but guarantees you’ll keep ‘Adventures in Bitscape’ close to your heart.

‘Adventures in Bitscape’ by Batou is available now on Bandcamp for ‘name-your-price’. Support the creator of this delightfully etherial ambience by purchasing a copy of ‘Adventures in Bitscape’ for yourself or a friend who’d love an excuse to ponder the cosmos with the help of this beautiful concept album.

PixelRecall ~ (R. Morgan Slade) ~ Support the artists you love

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