Audio Mixer: James Ginzburg.
Sri Lanka-born Paul Jebanasam started the Subtext label with Roly Porter and Emptyset's James Ginzburg, and like those artists, he first emerged during the mid-2000s as a dubstep producer before moving on to more challenging, experimental music. Jebanasam's second full-length album, Continuum, is an astonishing work that feels like it's the entire lifespan of the universe condensed into a 40-minute listening experience. All three of the album's pieces have long, impenetrable (if you're not a physicist) titles, and the cover art is a picture of a fusion reactor located at England's Culham Centre for Fusion Energy. The album sets serene organ drones against crashing, combusting washes of sound, and even at the album's calmest moments (like the second track), it feels like it's unraveling, mutating, or otherwise about to undergo a drastic transformation that can't be avoided, and will alter the course of existence as we know it. The album's finale is especially overwhelming, culminating in harsh, pulverizing rhythms at the center of a swirling vortex of apocalyptic sounds. This may seem like a heavy, demanding listen, but it's an incredibly rewarding one, and it feels like some sort of sonic breakthrough. ~ Paul Simpson