Apparently, Polybius was a Greek historian, who lived a couple of hundred years before the birth of Jesus, and is best known for his bestseller (well, a text that was remembered at least) The Histories, which covered the period 246 – 146 BC and plotted the rise of the Roman Empire. He was also one of the first historians to champion the idea of factual integrity when reporting historical events, avoiding bias, if you will.
South Yorkshire Polybius are also concerned with history. The mysterious duo, (mysterious in that they only gave me their initials, not names) EV on synths, samples, programming and noise, and EL on bass guitar, guitar and (also) noise, look back on dance music from the past to make their own electronic music of today.
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On their new EP, The Arrival the opener ‘Be Seeing You’ takes 90’s style old movie samples, and weaves them with a house beat, and this Higher State of conciousness kind of howling synth sound. But essentially it’s got this sort of minimal trancey sound about it as well, and this synth figure that is just irresistible.
The VIbe is immediately more laid back, more Aphex Twin at his most accessible. It’s underpinned by these jazz chords, but they are made to sound stark by the sound chosen. It bleeps and sweeps and gently laps at your ears, the different layers fighting for your attention, but it’s chilled out, warm music.
MKU is a real contrast. It’s menacing, sinister even, and kicks into action sounding like some post industrial noise. It drills through your consciousness, making you wonder if there’s anyone behind the door, trying to get it. But it warps and morphs into this acid house sound, while keeping its edge, and keeping its threat. It’s scarily good.
Could be there’s another Polybius rewriting history, in 2013.