Nick Demopoulos is an LA based performer, musician, and instrument builder, who releases music under the name of Smomid. His latest release, ‘Ziggurat’, is from his wittily titled, ‘Pyramid Scheme’ set, and is an intriguing piece of experimental computer music.
With no vocal track, it’s easy to immerse yourself in the sounds of Ziggurat’ and imagine yourself back in the days of ancient Babylon – further imagining the electronic sounds as native instruments such as rams horns, xylophones, pipes, drums, and so on.
‘Ziggurat’ is ethereal, somewhat disturbing at times, and incredibly intoxicating. At over ten minutes long it might easily have been a chore to listen to, but Smomid has added enough variety to his instrumentation – ticks, taps, echoes, and buzzing – to allow the listener to feel there’s something new around the corner. And indeed, this truly is the case, as he changes tack somewhat at the halfway point, taking away from our march around Babylon to what feels like an alien space ship. There’s a lot to get your teeth into with this one.
Just going by his music alone is enough to suggest that Nick Demopoulos is an interesting character, but then when you discover that he’s used musical instruments he’s designed himself to create his music, and that his stage name derives from an acronym of his primary instrument, String Modeling Midi Device, then you know for sure that he’d be someone you could have a very in depth conversation with and solve all the problems of the world.
‘Ziggurat’ is at times glitchy, and certainly a bit out there, but there’s definitely something compelling about his sound to make this listener want to hear more.