Bells And A Floating World – the EP follow-up to Serengeti & Polyphonic’s acclaimed Anticon debut, Terradactyl – presents the Chicago duo at its most synergistic yet. Over the course of six freshly recorded songs (accompanied by a bundled set of remixes), Polyphonic weaves one flowing multi-movement suite, while Geti delivers his trademarkedly nude musings in a range of styles. The end result feels like something recorded live – a burbling, brooding, real-time document.
Terradactyl found Geti caught in a bleak spiral. On Bells And A Floating World, he paints a brilliantly abstract portrait of a man on the mend. The EP’s bookends, “Get It Later” and “Mega Zoo,” are imbued with sober realism and told through a series of fractured first-person images – from the latter: “Sorta sad, driving to see the kids/Therapist’s office, damn they got big.” On his end, Polyphonic pieces together the musical mosaic – skittering effects, sour melodica notes, bassy percussives – to create a pair of tracks linked by both theme and timbre.
On the songs in between, Serengeti & Polyphonic explore their unfolding chemistry. “Guelmim 5000” sports a funky cutup beat that skips and trips along with Geti’s off-the-cuff cadence. “Schoenhut” is calmer and minimal, building on a pair of thumb piano melodies and featuring a melodic turn from Geti. He offers stray lyrical bursts from the ethereal stratosphere of “Polar,” and works himself into a paranoiac froth over Polyphonic’s skipping 8-bit beat on “Television."
Complementing Bells And A Floating World are six remixes culled from the Terradactyl LP. Taken as a whole, these inspired reimaginings are surprisingly cohesive – a testament to both the range of the originals, and the craftsmanship of the contributors. Among the highlights are WHY?’s autumnal sing-song take on “My Patriotism,” Jel’s careening boom-bap version of “Patiently,” and Son Lux’s heavily glitched reworking of “Bon Voyage.” Bracken, Greetings From Tuskan, and Epstein Y El Conjunto also add their distinct stamps to the Serengeti & Polyphonic oeuvre.