Liminal Being: An autobiographical, ambient story of transition
Singaporean/Malaysian-based Botanic Records brings to you detail-oriented sound artist, wanhanzan, and his new EP
Release Date: 20th Nov 2018
Label: Botanic Records
There's a type of elusive, urban grandness to Liminal Being's manifestation of electronic music. The combination of pulsating beats and purposeful usage of audio samples is captivating. In the EP, wanhanzan, a Malaysian who's recently migrated to New York, captures the feeling of ambiguity and lack of belonging in transitioning from one home to another. He is the Liminal Being - caught in a transitional, disoriented state. "I see myself being somewhat in a state of limbo or ambiguity - not having the life I had in KL anymore, but also not fully completing my relocation to the US", wanhanzan said in his press release. There are plenty of little auditory moments to relish: the switches in Apex from warped digital sounds to a clip of baby babbles that welcome a steady barrage of semi-offbeat drums, the subway PA sounds on Illness coming off as somewhat distant. The feeling of vertigo as you get caught through the warped white noise introduction of Precipice.
Liminal Being's strength is in its ability to put you in a whole milieu of restlessness, while serving a really rich tapestry of sound reminiscent of the smallness you feel when looking up at unfamiliar skyscrapers. The execution of Asiatic sounds in Extract as it accompanies the sound of an English newscaster is one example of how wanhanzan embraces this liminality by putting two different cultural elements together. t's seamless, while being somewhat ominous, especially as it ends with a clear piano sequence that grounds it all in a natural ambience - like we've reached a very final kind of serenity. wanhanzan's knack for specifics does not compromise its bigger picture. There is a huge motif here, a versatility, which makes Liminal Being a great listen, whether as unassuming background noise, or as a piece of conscious storytelling demanding attention. All of this within a tight span of 16 minutes across 4 tracks. RATING: ★★★★☆
Check out more of Botanic Records music here. A pretty cool label with a mission to uphold the best of Southeast Asian music and beyond.