Tracks like “Moral Game (Remastered Hope Edition)” twist and turn, constantly changing shape, employing an impressive arsenal of sounds, rhythms and wonderful noises. There is a fidgety energy in the work that suggests the composer, Harlequins Enigma is already brainstorming the next idea long before he is done with the one at hand, a hyperactive creativity that never settles. This is the sound of a restless creator at work. From its outset, “Moral Game” feels pretty monumental. As soon as the record churns into action, the jittering melodic keys cascade over restless percussion, as the listener is transported into a totally ethereal sonic space. The track explores this space, manipulating its shape and boundaries.
The tinkling motifs constantly shift in and out of focus, yet each sound is absolutely essential, placed in exactly the right corner of this intense, shimmering aural canvas. Each and every moment of the record has enough depth and detail to allow the listener to become utterly – and willingly – transfixed.
On repeated listens, more layers become audible, more snatches of melody and harmony breaking through the dense, rhythmic canopy. “Moral Game (Remastered Hope Edition)” was remastered due to the project leader, Åge Riisnes suffering some brain issues at the time.
“It was difficult for me to hear the track without becoming ill,” explained Åge. However, the final mix will certainly send a message across the world of electronic music. To put “Moral Game (Remastered Hope Edition)” into a genre classification would be futile as it skips through multiple categories.
Full of dynamic flourishes, the song seems to marry the more melodic beauty of the Harlequins Enigma toolset with the harder percussive style of some of their songs. However it is still an easy track to penetrate. Its pace lifts and slows and fly’s around your senses making them tingle with euphoric spontaneity.
The track’s tower of jagged rhythm, is surrounded by the menace of a pulsating beat, while undulating synth waves shift like ominous shadows in the track’s peripheries. When the final notes drift off into the ether we find ourselves quickly trying to put the pieces back together from this most enjoyable journey.
“Moral Game (Remastered Hope Edition)” covers enough ground to leave even the most hard-nosed electronic music listener satisfied. No one makes music quite like this anymore. This track sees a master craftsman return with renewed inspiration in 2019. In many ways it’s exactly what I’ve been expecting from Harlequins Enigma – and once you let the hype drain away – what is revealed, is pretty much flawless.
MORE ABOUT: Harlequins Enigma is a Bergen, Norway-based band created in 2008 by synth musician, composer, and video producer, Åge Riisnes. Harlequins Enigma is mostly a one-man-band, but Elin Berge, Katie Leung, and Sara Jensen has served as co-members with several appearances over the years.
The primary musical creations revolve around chip-tune, electronica, techno, experimental, video game soundtracks, space, ambient, and new age genres. Notwithstanding all the health issues, which has hampered his career along the way, Åge is focused on human rights, equality, positive technology, and an affinity for a natural world.