The work of Arjen Schat exerts an emotional pull rarely found in sequencer music. His Manifolds (76'10") threads a wired energy into a fine weave of swirling modulations, roiling drones and broken chords. Each of its three tracks are neatly arced, and speak to the great ideas within all of us. These lengthy propulsive sequencer workouts make wonderful things happen inside the mind of the listener. Along its electric edge Manifolds climbs with deliberation into the clockwork pace of a free-wheeling sonic structure. While patterns of notes echo and bound outward, Schat's warm synth lead lines hold us to the human longings behind them. With increasing levels of intricacy this album builds in volume and density. These exquisite details draw us into Schat's world completely. His progressive musical ascent is informed by passion, and conditioned by experience. Through the stability of consonance we find a characterization of this musician's inner world. In the closing moments of each piece a note of resolution is struck - a flickering of hope as Schat reaches quietly for a different realm.
Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END - 22 April 2021