Getting inside a musician’s mind is relatively easy work these days. Whereas the 20th century was mostly restricted to whatever questions Rolling Stone proffered their subjects, now we have the miracle of multimedia practically opening up their skulls as if a hungry spoon scalping a ripe kiwi fruit. Brooklyn-based artist Rioux is fond of subjecting himself to this cannibalistic act, and he has done so once more in promotion of his new Evolver EP, teaming up with Vinyl Williams to pour his brainscape into a virtual world for us to consume.
You can download this digital environment named “Evolver” for Windows (download) and Mac (download). What you’ll find inside is a transcendental realm that visualizes Rioux’s psychedelic melding of electronic instruments and more traditional sounds mostly provided by guitar string. It’s a celestial patchwork comprised of palm trees and domed temples, a tableau of polygonal people, rainbow paints swirled across ceilings, and structures made from conceptual art. It evokes a delightful mysticism by combining the patterns and architecture of Islamic art with the icons of early 3D computer graphics. All these discordant parts reflect Rioux’s choice of instrumentation.
But more noticeable than all of that is the way the sky box smears every object that silhouettes in front of it with an iridescent filter. It transforms this virtual world into a translucent realm that’s rich in colors that smudge all of its separate parts into a singe composition. i appears to us as if a polychromatic paste. This effect encapsulates how Rioux distorts organic sounds with technological shimmer. Even his voice seems to echo as he murmurs his lyrics, smothering them into his rhythmic production to create a glorious wall of euphoric sound.
The final piece that truly marries “Evolver” to Rioux’s music is how you’re able to move around in this space. As Vinyl Williams told The Creator’s Project, “one can move about the virtual space as a disembodied entity, flying in any direction, and watch the breadth of any movements span out into infinity.” You’re able to seek out secret spaces as you move effortlessly through walls, going from enclosed shells to borderless landscapes, taking it all in on a course you set for yourself. There are no restrictions to your exploration.
Considering Rioux describes his new EP as “a life cycle in miniature, exploring metamorphosis and the various states of being in the evolving human experience,” your new phantom-like status is an appropriate transformation to undergo.