For fans of experimental electronica, artists like Cerpintxt have to represent the future of this cutting edge discipline. Now located in London by way of her native Egypt, Cerpintxt’s haunted, acoustics-focused science project of a sound has been picked up not only by like-minded atmospheric, drone and visual artists and labels such as CAMP Editions, Carlos Casas, Machinefabriek and Matchess but has bled into the EDM world. Now with her new EP, microtubule encoded memory, Cerpintxt stands to unite the EDM and experimental worlds even further.
EDM is almost always driven in some form by the mad scientists who innovate and push the boundaries of what’s possible in electronic music, but quite often, with the exception of artists like Noisia, Amon Tobin, Rezz, Gyrofield and Venetian Snares, EDM and experimental electronica tend to stay in their own respective camps. With her futuristic, Cyber Punk vibe, heavy concept work and meticulous compositional style, Cerpintxt is both pushing the envelope for acoustics and sound design and giving more conventional EDM artists a run for their money going on six years now. Begnning with her ATOMS EP with atmospheric house legend Stevie R. in 2018 right the way through her 2022 single, “Sedimented,” on CAMP Editions to microtubule encoded memory, sound curation as acoustic science, as concept and as evocative music .
Cerpintxt’s unique sound work isn’t the only thing that led the drop of microtubule encoded memory being one of the most innovative drops of the year. She’s also very proactive when it comes to her own brand and agenda. In the two years between 2020 and 2022, Cerpintxt didn’t release much production-wise but she began performing her music live, both on multiple radio platforms, on livestreams and at multiple festivals. She also launched her own event based out of London called Boundary Condition. In the artist’s words, it’s a “an audiovisual durational immersion for the rabidly sentimental: investigating the parallelization between dark-jazz, hauntology, and musique concrète as nostalgia-centric practices.”
This tagging of her event leads into the branding and vernacular of Cerpintxt. She’s very specific about the language she uses to describe her work, using terms like “hauntology” and “systematic harmonic erosion.” To describe her sound. Listening to her work, all the terms she uses are not wrong, especially when it comes to microtubule encoded memory. The work in this EP is, in fact, a study in haunting sound and in the erosion, or movement, of harmony. Made from endless sound recording loops gathered over years from locations like the pharaonic temple at Serabit El Khadim in her native Egypt, the mountains of the Sinai Peninsula, and the music of Bedouin tribes, Cerpintxt’s long, storied tracks are building, eroding and cycling sounds all at once. Her focus on acoustics not only as necessary for sound but as the sounds themselves is truly inspired. Thomas Dolby would be proud.
As a concept, there’s also a political bent to Cerpintxt’s work on microtubule encoded memory, but it’s not one most artists would think of, though it ties in with all the hard graft she put into this EP. In the artist’s own words, “The hauntological element of my work explores a form of sonic activism against the weaponization of love in Egypt.” Once again, the importance is in the way she’s phrased it: no direct, easy to decipher agendas here, but rather an evocative statement that bypasses typical communication and gets to the heart of what’s important. Like the music itself, Cerpintxt wants her audience to feel the energy of what’s around them, whether sonic or otherwise, and make decisions accordingly. There’s a depth to this work that’s not just about tinkering, and that’s likely why it resonates with the EDM world.
The first and third tracks on microtubule encoded memory are available now on Cerpintxt’s Bandcamp, while the elusive middle track will be released in October on cassette only. Fans can pre-order on Bandcamp as well.