Words: James Frostick
Artist image: Ella Maximillion
Sydney-based producer Phoebe Twigg – also known as Ptwiggs – has followed up her 2019 EP Darkening Of Light with a new three-track effort called Nondualism, out now though electronic label Eternal. Each track amalgamates disparate shards of club music – from dystopian techno to ethereal trance and beyond.
Compared to the plethora of guitar-oriented groups featured on this blog, a write-up of a Hi-NRG-influenced producer might seem out of place. Yes, Ptwiggs does create textural EDM that suits sweat-soaked club dance-floors more than beer-soaked gig pits, but I feel that the sort of synthetic soundscapes that Ptwiggs creates is at least partly influenced by the same sources as some of Australia’s more experimental post-punk/synth-punk outfits such as Forces, Rebel Yell or Multiple Man. At its heart it is body music – beats crafted to elicit a physical response. However, where bands typically attach some sort of meaning to the beat through the addition of lyrics, producers like Ptwiggs rely on eliciting emotional reactions solely through sound. Finely crafted progressions and peaks serve to instigate chemical releases, whereby meaning is created through a subjective listening experience coloured by one’s own ‘in-the-moment’ perception. EDM allows for freedom of physical expression and meaningful attachment – there are no guidelines on how you react to it, as long as it stirs something within. It’s an ethos I’ve always been enamoured by.
Ptwiggs’ new three-track EP‘s namesake seems to be influenced, at least conceptually, by the idea of a transcended consciousness – moving beyond dualistic ways of thinking, blurring the lines between the real and the divine. The track list of Nondualism follows this thought process in part, uniting contradictions (‘Creation in Destruction’, ‘The End is the Beginning’) to lay the groundwork for a cyclical arrangement that fluctuates between dizzying crystalline highs and dissonant blasted lows. Although I’m not overly well-versed when it comes to breaking down the nuances of EDM, there is a savvy textural interplay weaved across all three tracks, creating a seamless listening experience – a harmonising of styles and ideas that loop back to the streamlined mentality of nondualism itself. Those that dig subterranean unce or need an invigorating jolt of ecstatic aural hysteria will play this release on repeat, as I have done since hearing it for the first time.
Nondualism is out now through dark-electro specialists Eternal.