the When “Cycles of Time” EP Review

With trumping synth tones and a psychedelic rhythm, the When’s new EP Cycles of Time takes electronic music and twists it into a new conceptual genre, one I can only say is a fantastic mix of Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails. (Looking at the Facebook page after I wrote this, I saw that he had also described himself using those bands. Completely coincidental, but further prove that he’s on the right track.) Matthew Kourie is the mastermind behind the synth-rock masterpiece, with his influences of the 80s and 90s twisting into the new era of electronic music.

Starting off the EP, “The Wishing Well” shows the listeners exactly what the When are all about. It paints a colorful and emotional picture of tones and moods. The layering of his voice over the hypnotic sounds only further creates the eerie and dissident tone that listeners are looking for. The next song, “Let It Go,” does the same, but in a strikingly different way that really sets the When apart from the rest. In a genre of music that’s hard to make every song have a personality and sound different, he nails it on the head with diversity, yet keeping the familiar sound. Both songs draw out intense, philosophical stories that go beyond just any song.

I can honestly say this is one of the most diverse and exciting works I’ve listened to in a while. My love for Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails run deep, and I’ve personally been looking for something new to fill my need for this sort of music. the When completely decimate any genre with these progressive tracks. When most people hear the words ‘electronic’ and ‘synth,’ they think of the EDM-fist-pumping-ravers, but the When blow that stereotype out of the water with the rhythmic discordant tones and hypnotic sounds. It transcends listeners back to the era of 90s progressive rock and underground techno.

-Erin M.

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