Smart people should surround themselves with beautiful symbols. Filling the habitat of human thought with the tones of peace and quiet the music of r beny (a.k.a. Austin Cairns) stokes our brighter instincts. His album Echo's Verse (38'17") provides an influx of mental stillness. Instead of exploiting our psychological vulnerabilities, this music hopes to enlarge us, to make us more than what we were prior to hearing it. Echo's Verse brings back to Electronic Music all the values that the modular synthesizer movement sought to disassemble. While in some quarters pushing a patch to its ultimate expression (no matter how dissonant) is still designated a superior pursuit, behind this work a human consonance may be discerned. If you can afford to pay a different kind of attention to these six tracks, then you should, as this act may lead to a mental state conducive to independence. Drifting into your cognitive landscape placeless nodes of sonorous tonality fill a dull, neutral blankness with earnest wonder. Notes in the upper register tremble over sudden thaws and strange, imaginative fluctuations. Recurring melodies surface, to reassure the lost and arouse the adventurous - landing us in a comfort of blissful harmony. Where we find gently vibrating chords sweeping into extended moments of hope, further in we may just as easily be left abandoned and drawn down and into a dark, vague resolve. The proud topic of Echo's Verse is sound - and it certainly did begin in the workshop, but it is meant less for tinkerers than it is for listeners. The music of r beny is designed according to the principles it elaborates - and is destined for the parts of our selves that are most alive.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 2 May 2019