Minimalist to the bone, leaving listeners starving for something else
Amotik’s second album, Pantajali, features ten lengthy tracks inspired by Amotik’s late grandfather. The tracks follow a minimalist ambient techno sound throughout, up until the track “Chiyas,” where the tone shifts towards a heavy club and techno sound.
Pantajali is an example of an album that doesn’t change. Its lackluster sounds are utterly forgettable. It struggles to create any meaningful ambient music, rather Amotik layers annoying beeps and sound effects on top of interesting musical sounds. Pantajali buries its best ideas under layers of unimpactful noise. It is as if right when there is a glimmer of something there, the track gets shifted away from that which made it compelling.
From the opening track “Satavan,” Pantajali begins to suffer. “Satavan” creates an unbearable loop of sounds that linger for three minutes. The obnoxious and repetitive ringtone noise drags for the run time, leaving no desire to hear the track again. This opening for the album feels like poor filler and suffers from a lack of progression. Pantajali only improves following its opening, but still delivers a heap full of forgettable sounds.
“Unsath” has a very breezy ambient tone, but it feels like elements are missing to accent its ambient core tones. “Iksath” creates a great low reverb drum line that has the potential to build however, a continuous heart monitor sound effect stunts its growth.
The first five tracks of Pantajali feel so inconsequential to the album at large that there is little motivation to feel out the run time for each song. The listener gains what the whole track offers within the first thirty seconds or so of each song. The production during the first half of Pantajali is static, this makes the run times of most songs a tiresome chore to get through.
“Tiresa” creates a better intro than most of the previous songs, building dramatic heavy-hitting drum sounds with an echoing keyboard in the background. Stylistically the intro feels different than others, and it serves as a great backbone for other instruments to shine. Unfortunately, this great intro builds to nothing, and when the track regresses by pulling out the bass, there is nothing left to chew on.
Easily the highlight of the whole album is the track “Chiyas.” With a fantastic dance beat and higher bpm, it’s just enough to wake you from the boredom and fatigue created by the other tracks. There is a serious, dark atmospheric bass and a clear intention on this track. By ditching the insufferable similar beeps throughout the track can evolve. “Chiyas” shifts away from the atmospheric tones and embraces a club beat, as do most of the tracks following suit. The much-needed energetic boost that “Chiyas” provides is short-lived, as “Sadsath” and “Adsath” just don’t pack the same punch. “Sadsath” creates an interesting start to a beat, as does “Adsath,” yet they are too similar in style to add anything to the album. “Unahttar” fails to deliver any meaningful ending to Pantajali. Rather than finding any real closure or significance, “Unahttar” feels like it could have been placed anywhere throughout the album.
While Pantajali reflects Amotik’s sound, there is little differentiation throughout the album, and it leaves little impression. It’s hard not to wonder what the album could have been at large had Amotik embraced the electronic and club sounds in tracks like “Chiyas.” A serious lack of engagement both in its electronic and ambient roots makes Pantajali a pain to get through. Aside from the breakthrough “Chiyas,” Pantajali offers no real relistening value in its sluggish ten-track project.