Must Listen – ‘Archontology: Thalemus’ – Zenotope

There are plenty of creative roads paved for producers in the electronic music world.  With access to millions of plug-ins, instruments, tons of outboard equipment options, and endless digital highways, the options for the electronic producer are infinite.  There are the artists that excel at the club bangers, the outdoor heady mind blasters, and more – each having its own significant purpose, each taking its own special concoction of talent and patience to create.  Then there are story tellers.  The electronic musicians who see their gear the way Beethoven and Mozart saw the piano, the way Yo-Yo Ma sees the cello, the way Luciano Pavarotti saw his voice.  The ones that bring you on a journey with them to distant lands, foreign soundscapes, lovely melancholies, powerful illiad-esque odysseys, and crystalline oceans immersed with audible adventures.  Following in this path of great electronic composers and storytellers B.T., Bocuma, and Eskmo, is the ever so eloquent Zenotope.

Zenotope demonstrates with his work a high level of perfection, attention to detail, and a superb blend of glitch, ambient, downtempo, and bass with elements of classical, sci-fi, and surrealist influences. He emerged in 2011, following with his 2012 self-released 5 song EP Miasma, which ranges from avant-garde compositions to rhythm-driven dance tracks.  In March 2014, he then released the ever beautiful Eko, a collaborative, long distance effort with Turkish producer Devo Bekin.  Tragically, Bekin passed away in December 2013 – Eko was released in honor of his memory.

At this moment in time, we are focused on Zenotope’s most recent and quite ambitious ongoing project, a twelve part series entitled:  Archontology:  Thalemus. One song released every month for the entire year.  Each composition representing a different part of one continuous storyline, telling the tale of the fictional king, Thalemus.  The first track released, entitled ‘Zadook’, entices us with the text:

“At this point in the story we encounter the young prince Thalemus who, after the recent death of his father, is preparing himself for his new role as king.  During this song he undergoes his coronation ceremony.”

“Zadook” begins with soft yet proud percussion, with melodies of magical bells dripping delicately until a wave rushes about, giving a proper entrance to a prominent lead synth, ascending the listener into a ceremony of one’s own.  Twisting through airs so thin amongst the contrasting gritty bass and the illusive bells, it is clear you are experiencing this journey with Thalemus, not simply spectating.  An audibly induced ceremony at its finest – you can lose yourself to the fantasy realm this piece conjures and have zero notice of leaving planet Earth.

The second piece in this work is entitled “Aggrandize”.  Elegant classical piano melodies accompanied with solemn percussion starts this soundscape as a thick, rolling bass enters like a tidal wave with crescent sonar sounds hypnotically repeating ever so often.  A piano break giving a pseudo relief in the eye of storm quickly fades into a crash of intense aggressive bass lines with gorgeous synths intricately layered, leaving you in a state of concern over our dear King.   I found myself in tears of beauty and at a loss of breath after this piece with a yearning to hear the third chapter in Thalemus’ adventure.  The auditory paintings in my mind craving its next score…

Zenotope told me it was part of his goal with these pieces to focus on storytelling.  Sir, I am confident in saying, you have succeeded.

I thank the electronic music Gods daily for artists such as this…my one wish– to one day see this magnum opus performed live in its completion.

I intend on following the breathtaking journey of Thalemus as it continues throughout the year and I propose you join me as well…

Follow Zenotope on Soundcloud || Facebook

Visit for a glimpse into his world…


Please share your own thoughts as your journey with King Thalemus…

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About the author

Classical musician turned electronic music producer, one half of Subatomica as well as the production director for 94.5 Burning Man Informational Radio. Co-host of the monthly radio show, Kriptik, local 93.5 KNCE or Music is my passion, it is our universal language.

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