Societal Eye is the debut solo album by Orogen, the project of Bay Area based experimental producer Lucas Patzek. Following the dub modulated illbient lurch of his Kossak material, and the seismic industrial vortices of his collaborative work with longtime affiliate Kush Arora aka Only Now, Orogen carves out a new path on Societal Eye, venturing into an environment of sinister pressure, oppressive tropical heat, and replete undergrowth.
Through elaborate sound design, concussive sub-bass, stark, textural electronics, and processed field recordings captured in Southeast Asia, Orogen renders a vast habitat of magnitude and concealment.
In this climate acknowledged influences are uniquely intersected, as impenetrable depths of dub techno murk, searing embers of industrial dissonance and deconstructed hip hop cadences converge. Across eight tracks, Orogen creates labyrinthine atmospheres of volatile collision and clandestine resonance.
Inspired by Patzek’s work in Cambodia for A Growing Culture, a non-profit organization at the forefront of the food sovereignty movement, Societal Eye assimilates the sound of the natural landscapes he encountered during this time into a series of deeply concentrated, innovative productions.
From the shattering, oblique steppers of the title track to the rustling tech-noir undercurrents of Flicker Out to the prodigious pitch-black techno riddims of Cave – a track featuring regular collaborator Only Now – Societal Eye is a vividly transportive listen, a territory of haunting energies and predatory movements.
Combining the echo and rattle of austere dubwise technology with the insectoid hum of an organic ecosystem, Societal Eye evokes comparisons with the thicketed, psychedelic intensities of Anthony Child’s Electronic Recordings from Maui Jungle series, the raw soundsystem prowl and eco-dread of Pessimist’s Boreal Massif project, and even, the glacial, contoured Scandinavian techno of Anthony Linell and the Northern Electronics label.
Yet even with the imprint of certain resemblances, these tracks carry an original, outlying sense of exploration; 3D arrangements enshrouded in off-kilter low end and uncanny frequencies, neatly infused with the singular environmental detail of a remote setting. For Patzek Societal Eye is a welcome return, and for the Orogen project, a new beginning.
By depicting the sound signature of Southeast Asia’s natural landscapes, Orogen raises awareness for their continuing existence and protection. Additionally, in recognition of both their significance in shaping the release, and their valuable work supporting grassroots communities, indigenous peoples, and the cause for food sovereignty, all of the profits from Societal Eye will be donated to A Growing Culture.
Release date: March 25th, 2022.