Gorcus’ Tunnelling Illusions takes you deep into the realm of experimental electronica

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Gorcus’ Tunnelling Illusions takes you deep into the realm of experimental electronica

words by staff writer

On his fourth album, Tunnelling Illusions, Salvadorian producer Gorcus shows a penchant for distorted synths and Aphex Twin-esque percussive arrangements in a record that brims with restless experimentation. 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, there isn’t enough guitar in contemporary electronic music. 

Certified Ace, the first of 12 mind-bending songs on Tunneling Illusions, builds suspense the best possible way: scuzzy, distorted evolutions of what were once bluesy riffs, paired with funky vocal cuts reminiscent of peak-era Fatboy Slim, all combined with glitchcore effects like dystopian turntable scratching.

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Gorcus cuts a unique presence in Melbourne’s electronic scene. He left El Salvador in 1990, has worked on big-budget films and started producing in the late 2000s.

He has varying metal influences, namechecking the likes of Metallica and Tool’s Maynard Keenan, which lend his work a dark, brooding and industrial quality that adds depth to those short bursts of atmospheric melodies that could have been home at a 90s rave. 

Steadly is one of these songs, wrapping us up in a Chemical Brothers-esque synths that soar breakdowns that lightly verge on dubstep. You can tell Gorcus loves experimentation, each track embodying a totally different emotive quality.

Stationed Nowhere happily explores how far Gorcus can take this atmospheric, echo-like quality, reminding us at times of With Teeth era Nine Inch Nails.

Lacerating the Path further builds on Gorcus’ talent for entrancing melodies and complicated percussion – you can hear the Aphex Twin influences throughout this record. He never lets you get totally comfortable in a track before switching it up, keeping you perennially on your toes.

When the drops come, as on Transformation of the sides, they hit hard and Gorcus returns to a more traditional electronic structure with ease. He shows off his knack for synths on Silk Acid and Certifiablism, but there aren’t many of the more accessible melodic loops we heard in his past album tracks like Going’ all Out. This is largely an album for the electronic purist. 

Likewise, vocals are used sparingly throughout; MC Tesla is the only feature on Estoy Aqui (in English, I’m Here). In Back Home, these vocal cuts explode joyously for the briefest moments. 

The final track Reaching The End takes us full circle, leaving us in a minimalist haze. It all leaves you wanting more, and we can’t wait to hear what Gorcus releases next. 

Keep up with Gorcus here.