These recordings feature Balinese gamelan-inspired bronze instruments we built based on a 6-tone scale of our own devising. A pair of jegogan and pemade, one cengceng, and a reyong set with acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, synths, drums and vocals.
The initial sketches of Continuum began in Bali, on reyong. Interlocking kotekans were composed and assigned to different instruments like the jegogan, pemade and drums. Despite the brief time spent with composer Dewa Alit (Gamelan Salukat), his compositional ideas and thoughts left a deep impression on all of us. He reminds us that culture is not a museum, it is ever changing.
Superimposing this frame of mind onto the multi-cultural identity of Singapore, we took the inevitable step to combine influences both old and new into a more inclusive sonic sphere that accepts differences as they are. The six note scale we devised may seem limited, but we found ourselves liberated and able to explore intricate rhythms with the economy of simple melodic ideas. As much as we respect and embrace the spirit of gamelan and its traditions, we always hope to incorporate new developments into our compositions, as seamlessly as possible. We borrowed heavily from music we were listening to, drawing inspiration from Balinese and African rhythms, early electronic music from Norway, the symmetry and shape of mirror images in kotekans, and the trance element in repetitive structures. The music remains dark, picking up from where we left off on our fifth album, Catacombs.
The album ends with Part 6 by Lasse Marhaug, an apt closing piece by a friend and collaborator who encouraged us to get this out in the first place. Mankind came out on a split 12" single with MoE, a noise-rock band from Norway. The same track has been tweaked a little for this release.