• CLINIK Productions

Consultation 022 : Ternion Sound “Illusory Contours” EP Review

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

Tuesday, November 15th, 2021


Ternion Sound Pushes The Culture Forward With “Illusory Contours" EP

Ternion Sound, the uniquely talented dub trio from Minneapolis, Minnesota, is back with another home run. The “Illusory Contours” EP, out now via Hypho’s Manuka Records, is perhaps the group’s most matured and refined outing yet. A love letter to bass culture, this project features elements of dub, hip-hop, drum and bass, and some UK garage. This EP is as much of an homage to Ternion Sound’s past as it is a glimpse into the future of their sound, giving every listener something to marvel at. A new standard has been set by Ternion Sound yet again.

The Summoning

The project kicks off with some brooding noise, pulling listeners into the deep and dark abyss. At about 13 seconds in, a breakbeat is introduced as the atmosphere builds and builds. The song is kicked into high gear at about 30 seconds, building into some more aggressive sound design on top of these smooth and well-produced breakbeats. The frenzy builds and builds before a lull at about 1:30. Just as Ternion Sound sets listeners down, they kick things into high gear again at 1:50. The song ends with a more calm down breakbeat outro. “The Summoning” is quite the statement, and literally summons listeners into the sonic world that Ternion Sound has created.

Watch (feat. Vandull)

Ternion Sound links up with UK rapper Vandull, who lends his slick flow and cold rhymes to this dynamic tune. The track begins with some ambience, before Vandull repeats the line “You must have thought I was soft” over and over, switching up his cadence in various ways before breaking into some relentless and ruthless bars. Clocking in at just 2:24, the shortest track on the EP, “Watch” is an absolute sleeper. Weaving break beat-esque percussion with cutting wubs and top tier sound design throughout, this is one of the most unique songs that I have heard Ternion Sound put out in a long time.

Just Want U Close

“Just Want U Close” kicks off with some pads reminiscent of a cloud rap song. This dreamlike atmosphere features a distorted breakbeat, before a record scratch summons a vocal sample of “I just want you close”, accompanied by some more aggressive percussion. Some wubs are introduced into the fray at about 1:20, offsetting the brutish nature of the quick percussion. The melodic, hazy synths build and build until about 2:20, before a darker portion of the song kicks in at about 2:40. The transition into the second half of the song is nothing short of outstanding, with emotion absolutely pouring through the duality of the breakbeats and the sound design. The breakbeat continues as another relaxed harmony plays us out.

Illusory Contours

The project’s title track definitely does not disappoint. With an intro that sounds like alien lasers coming at you 100 miles per hour, Ternion Sound steps away from the “breaks” for a little while, and takes things back to their deep dub roots here. “Illusory Contours”, with its downright nasty basslines and hypnotic sound design, is quintessential Ternion Sound. Listeners get a breather with a percussion-infused break at 2:18, juxtaposed with some aggressive, bassy tones. At about 2:45, listeners get slapped back into reality in the form of some wubs that hit you like a slab of concrete. With a distinct breakbeat behind the melodies guiding listeners to the end of the song, this track is a great showcase of the mastery present in Ternion Sound. The group never fails to create a paradigm shift with each release, and “Illusory Contours” is no different.

Check out the EP below:

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