Sebastian Reynolds, born to a computer-engineer mother employed at Research Machines, had a childhood immersed in the world of peculiar, dusty machines that brought games to life from cassette tapes. This early exposure naturally drew him into the realm of electronic music production long before he ever touched a "traditional" musical instrument. However, when he eventually delved into the world of bands, his music took on a vibrant, living, and breathing quality that has remained a constant throughout his illustrious 25-year career. It's worth noting that this is the same artist who boldly titled one of his releases "Nihilism Is Pointless."
Yet, his latest album, Canary, pushes the boundaries even further by offering a profound meditation on life, death, and the afterlife, inspired by the profound experiences of losing his mother and, shortly after, experiencing the heart-wrenching stillbirth of his son. Influenced by the ethereal "dreamworld" crafted by Susumu Yokota and the compositions of Luigi Nono, Olivier Messiaen, and Karlheinz Stockhausen, shaped by post-traumatic shock, Reynolds excels at blending the lines between mechanical and organic sound sources.
Unlike a modern-day Frankenstein or Kurzweil, whose pursuit of technological advancement may lead them to lose sight of what it means to be truly alive, Reynolds approaches electronic music as a fertile medium for conveying deep meaning. Growing up in Oxford, England during the '90s, he witnessed Radiohead's ability to retain the human essence of their music while plunging into the digital unknown, and he was close to this musical transformation.
Similarly, Canary gazes into the abyss that confronts us all today—a world shaken by explosive events, the fragmentation of our collective consciousness, the rise of machine intelligence, the tragic loss of a child at birth, and the everyday reality of living without one's parents. Yet, amidst this turmoil, Reynolds consistently manages to find a heartbeat in his blend of electro-organic sounds.
Reynolds has collaborated with acclaimed artists like Anne Müller from Erased Tapes, Alex Stolze of Bodi Bill, and worked with Mike Bannard at The Aviary, among others. He also continues to work on commissions for Neon Dance, and his projects have garnered attention and airplay not only from the BBC but also from a wider audience.
Sebastian Reynolds’ Canary s out now via all streaming platforms.