The name of EVOL comes from the Catalan word for Sambucus Ebulus, a herbaceous species of elder with a characteristic foetid smell. Under this moniker, Roc Jiménez de Cisneros and Stephen Sharp make what they call 'computer music for hooligans' or 'rave synthesis'. Since 1996, their deconstructed rave objects have been released on record labels such as Editions Mego, Diagonal, Entr'acte, Presto!?, and ALKU, and presented as installations and live performances worldwide.
Even though they reject a clear divide between high and low culture, their aesthetic exploration of algorithmic composition could be said to occupy a neutral place between academia, experimental music and club music. With influences ranging from popular culture – from Basshunter to 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' - to highbrow music by composers such as György Ligeti and Hanne Darboven, their music is slippery as slime when it comes to definitions. As their close friend Goodiepal put it a while ago: 'it’s radical computer music'.
A list of keywords that have been applied to their work may offer some clues to crucial and lateral aspects of their work: rave, synthesis, elasticity, time dilation, chronesthesia, goo, hoover, hoover-stretching, hyperobject, slime, psychedelia, altered states, fractal, upward spiral, downward spiral, warping, hooliganism, mereology, horns, horny, kaiju, tetrafluoroethane, acid, anti-humanism, mentasmic, climax, freeze-frame, recursive, poing, non-anthem, strobe, party boobytrap, fold-in, continuum, squashed, monolith, asymmetry, homeomorphic, recurrence, fluorescence, phlop.
SON[I]A talks with Roc Jiménez de Cisneros about EVOL's very free deconstruction and reinterpretation of György Ligeti's 'Continuum' and Hanne Darboven’s 'Opus 17a', and how these works relate to the duo’s current artistic practice. Unusual notions of time in relation to music, algorithmic reverse engineering, complexity through simplicity, anti-climax, ancient trance music, weird mental states and Dick Higgins' Superboredom concept pop up in the conversation.