Markus Lindwurm is CYGNOTIC, the electronic synthtrance-project hailing from Munich, Germany. Lindwurm started out in the days of the C64 8Bit music experience grabiing influences from legends such as Jean-Michel Jarre and Tangerine Dream. CYGNOTIC’s latest 2019 album, “Cygns”, arrives almost a decade after the previous “Through The Gates Of Nocturnal Sleep” release. The music of CYGNOTIC is a balance between structure and brilliance, together with seamless instrumentation and visceral cinematic exploration. Mixing disparate elements without one sound or style holding rank over others is something many artists strive for, but they often come up short.
CYGNOTIC pulls it off here, brewing both old school sonics spiked with futuristic and world elements, providing lush soundscapes that feel entirely natural. Combining epic nuances, symphonic melodies and thrusting beats with trance infused undertones, “Cygns” is truly a treat for the senses that transports the listener to a world of pure, unadulterated bliss. The opening and title track “Cygns”, is something to marvel at, with spiraling leads and syncopated synths pulling themselves across an evolving base.
“Second Cygn” boasts an insistent drum beat that plays host to plucks of synthbass and smacks of shimmering keys that share space with strings, and fleeting melodies. The eerie and futuristic “Iridium Dawn” has a dense palette of atmosphere rendered by a rich wall of synths and choral effects.
This track, along with “Dreaming In Reverse” and “Cylight” exudes a melodic space, creating other-worldly atmospheres where the listener becomes thoroughly entrenched in a kind of celestial cosmos CYGNOTIC manifests through the impeccably polished and expanding sounds, which endure throughout the album.
More peaks and variations emerge in the orchestral arrangement of “Replicant Logic”, which in some instances remind of the best soundtrack work by Hans Zimmer. The track builds up slowly like a movie plot before erupting into a rhythmic onslaught. Its more than eleven minute runtime is fully explored, both rhythmically and sonically by CYGNOTIC.
The shapeshifting collage of expression on “Great Plains Of Aetherium” is crystallized into its final form, by a driving kinetic underbelly. It exists in a state of permanent energy. “Electronic Devotion” is a beautifully arranged song which manages to incorporate lush strings, choir-like interludes, robotic voices, powerful drumming and arpeggiated synths in the same space.
The pitter-patter of polyrhythmic synths interchange effortlessly on the closing track, “Dark Lights Of Laniakea”, and CYGNOTIC masterfully crafts them into a multi-layered monument of decadent pleasure. The layering here is so textured and intricate – from hypnotic to soaring – without having the need for dedicated percussive instruments.
Orchestral strings, plucky basslines, as well as tinkling keys, all combine to give the track its rhythmic bottom layer. Each track on “Cygns” has its own distinct identity, while blending, meticulously, into the whole of the album.
The range of sounds, instruments, and syncopation are indeed impressive. “Cygns” is lush, multifaceted, and delicious to the ears. Moreover, what sets this artist and producer, apart from his contemporaries, is that his arrangements are extremely musical. It’s specifically for that reason, along with the consistent sound quality, that will keep me coming back to the music of CYGNOTIC.