Released on Finland’s Tavern Eightieth imprint in 2014, this gorgeous EP certainly leaves a lasting impression. Veering from still-life ambiance to slowly pulsing techno terrain, Docetism instills a quiet sense of spiritual study and fulfillment in the five inspired pieces included here.
Behind Docetism rests one soul in Maciej Banasik, otherwise known for his work in the Polish dark ambient / industrial project ATUM which has largely been featured on Beast of Prey. Not much is known about the artist behind the name beyond that, which certainly seems to help add to the mystique behind the project, as do the religious themes referenced in the track titles.
Ignorance, greed, and anger are the Buddhist “Three Poisons,” referred to in the opening track, and these themes are echoed in the long, drawn-out tones that contemplatively lead you forward. Both mood and tempo progress as the tracks move on, with “Forest Monks” being perhaps the most enchanting and uplifting of them all.
This EP has elements of techno that are rooted in the slower, deeper variety, which is home to artists such as the Sight Below, GAS, and Mind Over MIDI. What Docetism brings to the genre is also a sincere and almost intellectual spiritual dedication and a sense ritual. One can even find influences from Hybryds, Alio Die, and Vidna Obmana in the pieces that have been composed for Breaking the Circle of Life.
At a mere thirty-two minutes in length, my first reaction was one which most people who have just experienced an EP that they enjoyed should be able to relate to: I wanted it to be longer. The pieces have such a natural flow to them that it’s very easy to get lost in the environment and not want to leave. The end arrives all too quickly, but the pace is beautifully arranged. In the end, I couldn’t help but feel that the length was actually perfect, especially once the treated vocal samples and bell gongs of the final track, “Samadhi,” fill the air.
Although the diverse themes of Breaking the Circle of Life jump from core Buddhist beliefs to the world of Thai forest monks and even Greek mythology, there are connections to be made through the music. Docetism has created an accessible entryway into this world, and one that warrants many repeat visits.
01) Three Poisons
03) Forest Monks
04) The Wheel of Ixion Stands Still