Released - February 2022
Label - Leaving Records
One of the most attractive projects to cross my path recently has been The Growth Eternal's 'PARASAiL-18'. He introduced himself as an electronic artist and accomplished bassist on the 2020 release ‘Bass Tone Paintings’ - 17 short tracks of experimental/classical bass, gentle vocoder, and synth soundscapes. He returned in 2021 with 6 track ‘Kensho !' EP which featured his minute-long bass cover of Solange’s ‘Things I Imagined’.
‘PARASAiL-18’ does utilise convention more than its predecessors, but this doesn’t detract from the originality of the work. It has long been acknowledged that no matter how stupendous, dexterity can never represent emotion with the same magnitude of ballad and with the subject matter presented on 'PARASAiL-18' it is not so much that the artist has evolved, more that he has decided to exhibit his dexterity in the form of progressive/ambient song.
It is difficult to pinpoint moments on the project, as it is in its entirety a moment. It plays generously with all the familiar elements of the past, only the bass takes a noticeably subtler role; lower in the mix and focused on repetitive grooves in service of the song. Synth is undeniably at the forefront as the science of bass line is translated into arpeggiated melodies that begin singular, duplicate then further evolve. Meticulously composed sweeps of white noise bleed into the cracks left by ineffable pad voicings, that evoke sensations far beyond the baseline psychedelic. All of this is balanced by tasteful 808s, with the final ingredient being the trademark vocoder-affected vocal.
“What is this album all about? My escape in all its different forms - hope, drugs, sex, desire, daydreaming, night-walking, burial, fire, and fun”
The album’s six minute centrepiece ‘Roden’ is a work of undeniable brilliance and exemplifies the meeting of ambient, melodic, and progressive. It begins as an unfolding arpeggio reminiscent of Philip Glass and possesses a grandeur that affirms his ability as a consummate composer. I’d also like to draw attention to the sixth track ‘Braid’ and its inclusion on the project. It’s a cover and was released as a single in 2018. However, as an early career release it was undeniably overlooked and reintroducing it here is an intelligent choice that I would implore other artists to consider.
Akin to the perpetual conundrum faced by jazz musicians in wishing to be at once emotive and complex, The Growth Eternal has conquered the feat within electronic and experimental. ‘PARASAiL-18’ is a work of subtly stunning complexity that takes many listens to lose its sparkling veneer of newness and effortlessly orchestrates the ineffable, resulting in a true immersion into the concept of relief.
“The Parasail represents our momentary relief from the weight of the world. The ‘18’ represents the point in my life where I needed escape most. The lowercase ‘i’ represents ego dissolution and yielding to things as they are. The end of our escape".