“The fine art of deception”
This terrible world pandemic is unprecedented in our generation. At the time of writing, more than 3 billion people are self-isolating and most countries have enforced partial or total lockdown measures. Dismally, that’s not a ‘Black Mirror’ episode or a sci-fi movie script. The tragedy is literally on our doorstep, the infection rate is still escalating and has already affected our daily habits and routines, testing our social reflexes to the limit, as well as the way we will act and interact in the foreseeable future. The present looks ominous, but the sooner we accept the new reality and behave with responsibility and respect to one another, the better we are going to adapt to the day after. In turbulent and uncertain times art – and music in particular – is a refuge and a sanctuary; it lets you escape the bleak reality of your isolation and daydream far beyond.
‘The Morning of the Magicians’ is the 5th personal album by Greek producer and friend Panagiotis Antonakis (aka Cryogenics), which marks his return to album writing and the reboot of both his labels (Audio Theory and Evil Audio). A musical journey to the art of illusion and mystic arts, the album borrows the title from the eponymous 60’s book.
‘The Morning of the Magicians’ is a controversial book written in 1960 by French journalists Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier (original title ‘Le Matin des magiciens’). A prime example of radical literature, the book is a collection of raw material that invites and provokes wild speculation and tin-foil theories. Addressing cultural phenomena and topics like secret societies, politics, mankind’s place in the universe, ancient prophecies, alchemical transmutation, the giant race that once ruled the Earth etc. the book found a receptive audience within fans of the paranormal and the occult and heralded the emergence of a cult counter-culture movement. Inevitably, the book also faced skepticism and hostility by many reviewers for promoting and endorsing half-truths, pseudo-history and absurd claims.
I have read only selected excerpts from the book for the purpose of this feature. In a nutshell: Late night entertainment that should be taken with a grain of salt (or two).
Album Concept & Vision
“The Morning Of The Magicians is a book covering topics like magic, alchemy, philosophy, conspiracy theories and more. I gave more emphasis on the ‘magicians’ part, having in mind two movies I like and most of you will recognize: ‘The Prestige’ and ‘The Illusionist’. So, I merged them all into this album”.
“I had a discussion about the artwork with a person very close to me and a great designer, Marily, in order to re-imagine my logo. The two entities are actually my logo. I wanted it to be different and unique. I believe that Marily achieved that and I’m very happy about it! The mirror image of my logo/entities represents me looking at myself. In the background there are 3 other entities representing my fears”.
Cryogenics – The Morning Of The Magicians (Evil Audio, EA2001, 2020)
The album was released on February 17th exclusively on bandcamp and beatport, but is now available from all the usual outlets. There will be also a limited deluxe wooden box (edition of 40), which will contain the album, remixes, the album artwork on a postcard, stickers and a sample-pack; all inside a USB stick.
The album is divided in two parts, reflecting the mirror image artwork. The first part is drum & bass, whereas the second part covers a wider spectrum of genres in a slower tempo. ‘The Morning of The Magicians’ is a riveting narrative with nuanced musical themes forming blurry Moiré patterns, where the lines of the past, present and future become indistinguishable by stubbornly persistent illusions.
Track by Track – What the sleeve notes never tell you
Enter center stage, Cryogenics takes his magic wand, dives into the realm of the subconscious and narrates the background story/tagline for each album track. A couple of titles refer to the book’s respective chapters.
Act One: The Ordinary
- Future Perfect: “The Future Perfect tense is used to indicate a future event that has a definitive end date. Everything has an end date”.
- A Few Years In The Absolute Elsewhere: “Sometimes we are stuck in a particular moment in time and we stay there, until something or someone pulls us out”.
- Superstition: “Because I have to deal with my superstitions”.
- The Point Beyond Infinity: “It’s a metaphor for what we are looking for in our life”.
- Breaking The Spell: “Sometimes I believe that I’m ‘under a spell’. I don’t see things clearly. I don’t know if it’s only me or this is happening to everyone. So, this is how I’m breaking the spell!”
Act 2: The Turn
- Awakened State: “We must accept who we are and make peace with ourselves”.
- Eternal Hunt: “It is the oldest story of the book. We create our own demons and then they hunt us, sometimes forever!”
- Illusions: “Things in our head that ain’t real!”
- Make Us Disappear: “My antisocial part …”
- The Pledge: “A secret promise …”
Act 3: The Extraordinary
- The Prestige: The third and final act of a magic trick
Equipment and fan facts
The entire album was composed on Cryogenics‘ PC:
Processor: Intel i5-6400 2.70GHz
Sound Card: MOTU Audio Express Hybrid
Monitors: Yamaha HS
Synths: Omnisphere, Nexus, Arturia, Sytrus and many more …
DAW: Image-Line FL Studio v20
“Also, I had to watch too many movies to find enough samples for this album (J)”
“That was my 4th album under the Cryogenics alias (there is one more under my RyO alias) and I can say that I’m really happy about it. However, it doesn’t end here; I’m already contemplating about the next concept …”
Cryogenics artist profile
Cryogenics started as a listener in the early 90s, with a growing passion for the Jungle/Drum & Bass scene. He started to spin records at home and then at school parties. In 1995, with his best friend at the time, they played their first DJ set in a club. He bought his first PC a year later and with ‘FasTracker2’ he tried to compose his first tunes. His first track ‘Source Code’ garnered praise and made him known within the local jungle/d&b scene.
In 2001, with Requiem (Vibez Recordings/Outsider) and some friends, he started promoting their own club nights in Athens, hosting guests like Equinox, Bizzy B, Chris Inperspective, 0=0, Paradox, Phil Source and more. A few years later he met with Junior SP, an encounter that proved pivotal to his musical ascend. He became a resident DJ on JSP’s “Innersense” events alongside LTJ Bukem, Blu Mar Ten, Goldie, Spirit, Seba, Om Unit, Ed Rush, Doc Scott, Dom & Roland, Kryptic Minds, Commix and many more.
His fist production foray came on Timewarp’s label, Kraak Records. Counter-intuitively it was a non-d&b release.
In 2012 Cryogenics decided to launch his own label Audio Theory Records to cater for his own material and provide a platform to promote music from like-minded artists, covering a wide spectrum of bass music from deep/minimal Drum & Bass to Dubstep and Future Garage. A year later he established the sister label Evil Audio, focusing on drumfunk and modern jungle.
Cryogenics has released on a variety of record labels including the likes of Omni Music, Boomsha Recordings, Convoluted Recordings, Liquid Drops, Monochrome Recordings, Minus32, Kraak Records, Audio Theory, Evil Audio and more!
Other aliases: Primal Drumz, Butterfly Effect, MyOwn, RyO.
(Ryo) Thru your Eyes (Boomsha Recordings, 2013)
Through The Eons (Omni Music, 2014)
Personal Demons (Boomsha Recordings, 2015)
Images Of A Forgotten Future (free d/l, self-released, 2015)
Preparation For Something That Will Never Happen (Boomsha Recordings, 2018)
Social media links:
Comments in blue italics by Cryogenics
The previous instalments of the “Inside The Album” series from the blog’s archive here.