An earnest beat engages a melody at the start of “Ancient Cosmic Truth,” the title track of Louis Siciliano’s all-new experimental EP, and though the rhythm of the instrumentation is pendulous, there comes a quiet urgency in the distant vocal element that pushes anyone within earshot to the very edge of their seats instantly. Siciliano weaves his melodies together into a harmony that is awe-inspiring and much more powerful a force than any I’ve heard this month, but as we soon discover in the three songs that join this one, Ancient Cosmic Truth is a record that flaunts its physicality while adhering to the black and white framework of a jazz genre that few – if any – of its peers have come close to embodying.
Siciliano follows up on the aesthetical angularities of the title cut with the slight gallop of “Bambara’s Symmetries,” a song that slowly evolves from a simple math equation into an epic anthem in a little under a minute. Were it not in a minimalistic format, this track would probably be a powerhouse nightclub tune that could get even the most dedicated of wallflowers onto the dancefloor in a moment, but it has a different identity here that is a bit more bohemian and emotional. “Bambara’s Symmetries” is a composition that you have to hear more than once to fully appreciate and understand, but to be fair, it’s also an awfully hard song to put down once you’ve listened to its sensuous harmonies for the very first time.
“Translucent Dodecahedron” sonically steps into a worldly, almost anarchistic territory with a reticent rhythm as attractive as its melodic lashings are. Siciliano takes his time cutting through the peaceful stride of the string element with one smooth beat at a time, but he never creates a drag on the tempo – quite the contrary. In both this track and the potential fan favorite “The Secret of Mansa,” his direction of the grooves is incomparably on-point. There isn’t another artist that I’ve heard this season possessing the kind of melodic moxie that he has in spades, and there’s no question as to whether or not Ancient Cosmic Truth captures the essence of his artistry wholly and without restraint. This is a home run record in more ways than one, but it’s a must-listen for jazz and experimental music aficionados above all.
At a modest total running time, Ancient Cosmic Truth is a short and sweet introduction to Louis Siciliano’s music for those who have never heard his work before now and a celebration of his amazing sound for the fans who have supported him since day one. As 2023 comes into focus, it’s more than obvious that jazz is going to be molded by the independent wave of artists taking control of the underground right now, and I think that Siciliano is definitely at the forefront of his scene. A new full-length album will tell us more about who he wants to be in the next decade, but for now, listeners would do well to get their hands on a copy of Ancient Cosmic Truth as soon as possible.