The modular synth world of Polypores is quite the magical place. Stephen James Buckley approaches music as more than just melodies and electronic music. With each album he sees these songs as a means to connect on both a melodic and visceral level. Man and machine working together, with every buzzing circuit and blip of light building a bridge between us and some other world.
On Buckley’s latest release as Polypores, the exploratory and imaginative Shpongos, we are treated to a sound world dedicated to the mystery of fungi. Life devouring life on the forest floor, what’s more exploratory than that? Here’s more about the album:
“Fungi is everywhere. Hidden just beneath the surface. Vast networks of interconnected mycelium thrive, pulsing like Nature’s own internet. Nourishing and creating soil. Breaking down dead matter so that it can be recycled and used again. Facilitating the transport of vital nutrients and communication of chemical messages between plants and trees. Digesting harmful chemicals that pollute our planet. They can survive in the most extreme conditions, and even live in space. They can create medicine, provide food, and induce visions that some believe may be the key to ultimately understanding human consciousness. Every ecosystem on Earth is reliant on fungi for its survival and wellbeing. We have only just begun to understand it. Everything is connected.“
Buckley pays tribute to this ecosystem with his own ecosystem, the modular synthesizer. Buckley is a scientist in his own way; experimenting, improvising, and interconnecting square waves and manipulating frequencies in the moment to give us a striking and engaging “sound” ecosystem, as it were.
Album opener “Everything Connected At Once” is a glorious opener, teeming with what feels like positivity and a sense of everything is possible. I feel there’s a real connection here with Mort Garson’s Plantasia, a guy equally connected to nature and the ecosystem of the electrical sound world. In everything Polypores releases there’s a real feel of exploratory work, as if Buckley is searching not just for a great sound, melody, or song but to discover something new about himself and the world around him. “Everything Connected At Once” has that openness in it.
‘Shpongos’ will be released on 4/26 via Behind The Sky Music. Listen to “Everything Connected At Once” below, then hit up Behind The Sky and preorder ‘Shpongos’.