In the realm of microtonality, absolutes are non-existent, and common practice theory offers no light to guide the composer. What little theory there is comes from the science of psychoacoustics, from researchers seeking to generalize and quantify “consonance”. This consonance-centric view is a siren for seemingly all the bewildered musicians who find themselves adrift in the uncharted waters of microtonality, and many have heeded its call only to run aground and founder indefinitely in an unmusical limbo. Igliashon Jones, the man behind City of the Asleep, has long been a voice against the worship of consonance, and with “Transcendissonance” he has sought to put his objections into music.
On this album, Igliashon makes use of a variety of tunings designed to be as theoretically dissonant as possible, with shockingly pleasant results. Within the confines of tunings such as 11, 13, and 18-EDO, 180-cent equal tuning, and a host of unequal mathematically-derived scales, Igliashon weaves complex tapestries of harmony and melody that are truly xenharmonic. Though experimental in nature, this album is anything but academic; in keeping with the typical City of the Asleep style, “Transcendissonance” is a genre-defying electronic gruel of stuttering glitch, melodic electronica, expansive post-rock, and thumping techno (to name a few ingredients). Though the tunings are a central focus of the album, this is music that can be appreciated by the most casual of listeners, further proving that theoretical dissonance is no deterrent to writing accessible music.