Ciel's 'Trojan Horse' Takes Tech House on a Globetrotting Adventure
Published Jul 10, 2020At a time when borders are closed and airlines are iffy, Ciel travels by ear. Her vast showcase of samples spans cross-cultural references and figureheads of East and West, creating a dance record challenging postmodernism and exploring the intricacies of ideologies surrounding ethical consumption and usage of cultural artifacts.
Trojan Horse explores information sciences and ethics through sonic means and aims to establish a manifesto for appreciative use of samples, and recontextualizes the approach of sampling to be a culturally appropriate art form. Specifically, proper use of sampling can engage a musician and listener in new ways, and using them in an appropriate, novel way can enhance the experience of the genre. The marriage of dissonant sources creates an unfamiliar edge true to Ciel's new age and downtempo influences. On the EP, her processing and use of samples is idyllic in the way everything comes together.
Trojan Horse's strongest track is "Za Sui," with its hi-hat, kick beat and samples throughout that are both so danceable and engaging to an interested mind. "Hope Breaks" also pilots the EP into misbehaviour, almost asserting itself as the cool kid from high school who moved to New York or something, characterized by a tone switch halfway through the song.
The elevation that Ciel brings to every new project reminds you that complacency is not an option. Each Ciel song acts as the poster child for the tech house movement, taking everything you understand about the genre and adding a big glob of extra material to study. Take notes! (Thanks for Enlightening Me)