1. Beneath Fear [6:06] MP3 soundclip of Beneath fear [3:00]
  2. Different Pathways [5:18]
  3. Empty Human Cells [3:38]
  4. Increasing Complexity [5:52]
  5. Into The Caves Of The Mind [4:50]
  6. Interlude [2:09]
  7. Reflective [9:32] MP3 soundclip of Reflective [2:07]
  8. Mindmists [8:49]
  9. Pale Yellow Sky [5:42]
  10. Distracted [6:57] MP3 soundclip of Distracted [1:40]
  11. Crying Spells [4:15]
Recorded in Wavemountain Studio, Athens, Greece
All tracks composed, arranged & produced by Bakis Sirros, between 2002 and 2006
Mastered by Ian Boddy
Track 10 by Bakis and John Sirros

J. Sirros - treated voices on track 10

Parallel Worlds is the main project for the Greek musician Bakis Sirros. He has been active in the Greek electronic music scene since 1998 having performed at several concerts including E-PHOS electronic music festival in summer of 2001, Mad club, Club22 (2nd Summer in the city Festival), Music Day Festival 2006, Small Music Theatre and the Underworld Club.
He is also involved with other muscians in collaborative work. The new IDM project "Interconnected" with the German IDM musician Ingo Zobel (of DRON, Signalform, Self Oscillate) and the ambient / experimental project "Memory Geist" with the Australian electronica musician Steve Law (of Zen Paradox, Starseed Transmission).

"Obsessive Surrealism" (DiN26) is his fourth album having previously released "Existence" in 2003 on Greek label Rubber Recordings and "Insight" in 2004 and "Far Away Light" in 2005 both on the UK label Shima Records. He has also had tracks included on several compilation releases.
Bakis is a great advocate of modular analogue instruments and indeed is the moderator for the Doepfer A100 modular users group. He has also been extensively involved with sound design for the UK analogue modular synthesiser company Analogue Systems.

The music of Parallel Worlds is a combination of dreamy, atmospheric textures and pure analogue electronic rhythms and sequences, combining the feel of 70's electronic music with modern electronica and ambient music. Sirros uses huge analogue modular instruments and analogue step sequencers of the past and present combined with digital FM, virtual analogue synths and sampling. However he manages to elude the fate of many of his contemporaries in not falling into the trap of simply recycling the past. He creates a music that lives and breathes, imbued with his own personality and mannerisms. At one and the same time familiar and fresh. Steady, organic rhythmic structures are overlaid with deceptively simple melodies that remind one of some lost John Carpenter soundtrack.

Press Information Obsessive Surrealism, the latest CD by Parallel Worlds, is a synth lover’s dream.
The release is the fourth CD by Parallel Worlds. The CD is a dense blend of very electronic-sounding elements with very organic-sounding ones.
Parallel Worlds is the performing name for Greek musician Bakis Sirros. He’s been active in the Greek music scene for about 10 years, and has performed at a variety of electronic music events. He’s also collaborated with other musicians on other projects, including Interconnected (IDM) and Memory Geist (ambient/experimental). Sirros’ music on this CD emphasisizes synthesis, using electronic gear and software to create new sounds and effects. His music is melodic and is very effective at creating various moods, but what really sets it apart is Sirros’ creative sound work. Sirros puts a huge variety of gear to use, including: Doepfer A100 modular, Analogue Systems RS-Integrator modular, Technosaurus System D modular, modified EMS VCS-3 x2), ARP 2600, Odyssey, Roland System 100, System 100m, modified Oberheim 2-voice, Korg MS50, MS20, SQ10, Trident, PE1000, Analogue Solutions Concussor modular, modified TR606, Nord modular, JP8000, Microwave XT, MS2000R, S750, Emax 2, Korg ES1, Roland Space Echo, Korg SE500 and additional sound manipulators.

While this is an impressive gear list, Sirros appears to be most interested in wringing the most out of traditional synthesis. As a result, the music doesn’t sound like the result of intense studio editing, but more like he’s captured studio performances. The music itself is pure synth music, leaning towards the dark ambient. It shares some elements with synth artists of the 70’s, but also with the work of contemporary synth music masters, like Robert Rich and Ian Boddy. The pieces are relatively short soundscapes that emphasize sequenced elements, along with synth-strings, "vocal" pads and quirky glitch percussion effects.
In addition to the creative sound design, Sirros makes very effective use of stereo space; listening to the CD on a set of monitors revealed the depth of the music’s range, while listening on earbuds highlighted a lot of creative stereo effects.
One of the highlights of the CD is the track Increasing Complexity. At its heart, it’s a simple melodic sequence on piano. Sirros treats the piano so that it’s muted and bathed in reverb, giving it an distant, underwater sound reminiscent of the piano effects on Brian Eno & Harold Budd’s collaborations. Over this, Sirros layers strange echoing birdlike noises, synthesized percussion effects, a sequenced bassline and evolving synth pads, building the piece to a dense jungle of sound. By the end, the piano fragment that holds things together has almost disappeared, leaving just the organic synth effects.
Another great track is Pale Yellow Sky. Like Increasing Complexity, the track uses a minimal melodic fragment as a framework for organizing a collection of uneasy sounds. Halfway through the track, the music dies down to almost nothing, focusing your attention on water-drip percussive effects, before building up again. Towards the end of the track, the melodic elements die out, leaving just drones, effects and ambience. Throughout, Sirros frequently shifts the focus of the music from background to foreground and back, highlighting the layers of creativity in the mix.

Parallel WorldsObsessive Surrealism is full of very original sound design, but also makes effective use of synth music staples like sequences, synth-strings and vocal pads. The combination draws you quickly into the pieces, where the depth of the music’s quirkiness slowly reveals itself. Highly recommended.

Synthtopia Bakis Sirros, the Greek man behind Parallel worlds is an expert in modular-step synthesizers, three previous albums on his account, several tracks in compositions, several concerts, moderator of Doepfer A100 modular users group and sound designer for the UK based company Analogue Systems, in short; most excellent vitae resume.
Expertise most of the times leads to one thing: Excellence. There are no exceptions to this rule. The more you know the more you will be able to transform your ideas and dreams into reality through your knowledge. In other words, knowledge is the life’s technique to express our dreams, the medium to comprehend their content and give it a form through a medium. Laptop programmers may create fantastic sounds and tracks but they are locked in the laptop just like prisoners. They lack the expansion and huge sound versatility that just complex synthesizers and sound engineered apparatus could bring. When you hear something like Parallel worlds and then compare it with the laptop wizards that abound in the IDM, Ambient, Industrial and electronica in general you'll immediately get the picture. They are wizards indeed, but meanwhile stuff like Parallel worlds have had advanced to a god from sound. Needless to say that this rather obvious introduction is a direct compliment to Parallel worlds, a band that takes you as soon as you start to listen the first seconds of their music into another dimension where dreams take form and the contours of our reality dissolve in the nothingness of a stronger reality.

I had some sort of deja-vu and strange synesthetic experience after listening to "Obsessive surrealism" for the first time, it was so vivid and nice that next day had to listen the album again in order to corroborate it was not just a chance. It was not. There was a TV show back in the 70s made in England, it called Sapphire & Steel and its thematic was utterly fantastic and surreal, involving plots about space-time disarrangements, inter-dimensional thresholds and dead people uncannily living in the present etc. These series really impacted my imaginary and induced similar feelings like the ones associated with this album in my spirit, even today they seem outstanding moments of grace, radically mysterious and original so it was great surprise to revive such sensations with these record.
These days its rather hard to find something that really shakes you in any art form, the telly is dead and perhaps only a recurrence to old shows like Twilight Zone and Dr Who can come as close reanimations from these feelings associated with this record. Anyway, the point is Parallel worlds "Obsessive surrealism" could be the soundtrack for paranormal and occult stuff like the one displayed in Sapphire & Steel or the other shows mentioned. It really covers mystery in a very profound way, touching the delicate veil that separates reality from bizarre.
The expert usage of analog synthesizers, sequences, modulations, smart sampling and incredibly versatility to create an tangible halo around the listener constitute the paradigm from this original project. Strongly abysmal, mysterious without being redundant, always suggesting unnatural feelings and conjuring surreal imaginariness thus revolting the norm within the genre, Parallel worlds stands above the multitude as a legitimate representative of a very original IDM hybridization. The subversion implied in this music lies in the feelings it does provoke on the listener, more than creating etherized images or phantasmagorias it’s over indulgent in sensations, awakening dormant states within you.
Organic textures hybridize its path in analog modulations and textures that playfully join with smooth sequences relinquishing in somber tones, this is one of the principal characteristics of the album. A setting of non frightening atmospheres involves the listener like a fog generating some sort of day dreaming experience. There are hints of Tangerine dream atmospheres, psychedelic but nevertheless obscured by the norms of a modern darkened ambient (without necessarily becoming dark ambient per se) yet still preserving the synthesis of analog construction, some minimal downtempo melodies and odd sampling aggregations. Probably simple in conception but absolutely rich in result the work demarks a very clever excursion into an organic body of sound that also conjures extravagant synthetic textures and tones that finally serves well in its quest for the listener imaginary.

This work is pure magic, pure musical essence that rescues the true equilibrium that music used to do in the conception of great classic composers. More than entertainment this is evocation and a subtle touch in the somber corners from our mind.
Totally recommended, mystery and music never joined hands so eloquently and perfectly before!

2009. Heathen Harvest Web Magazine / USA Electronic bleeps contrast with a lovely organic piano as 'Beneath Fear' gurgles into life. All manner of sounds fizz and slither around the piano melody- then in comes a sedate but sublime rhythm, ethereal pads sighing over it all. The beats become more aggressive then subside again leaving wonderful contrasting melodies. What an absolutely awesome opener this is: inventive, compelling but also easy to get on with.
'Different Pathways' takes an alternative but equally as effective approach. Strange alien animal sounds mix with a staccato rhythm which literally seems to crack with energy. We then go through a grungy section as if electricity is arcing, escaping from some vast energy source. Subtle lonesome little lead lines roll over the top demanding your attention. Each sound is so precise and covering most areas of the sonic spectrum but at no time is there a sense of clutter. It's as if every single element can be heard and taken in. If anything extra were added it would be too much. If something were removed the track would not be complete. Perfect.
'Empty Human Cells' features melodic stabs over almost growling bass shudders which form a melodic focus all of their own. A deep rhythm purposefully stutters underneath. It's almost as if some awesomely powerful but injured creature is making its way through the darkness. You wouldn't want to meet it!
'Increasing Complexity' has a wonderfully moody five note repeated melody to which another rather sinister lead is added. A gentle rhythm compliments the melodies wonderfully but it's the sounds chosen for the beats that are the most impressive feature- subtle rather than bludgeoning. Even though it's all incredibly beautiful, there is something slightly unsettling about it at the same time.
'Into the Caves of the Mind' uses a repeated three-note melody which slowly rises up, floating through a sea of tinkling percussion. Mean drums crash out like a whip, joined my all manner of other fascinating syncopations- then its all calm again for a few moments. Weird manipulated and scrunched sounds mingle with each other, at one moment trying to meld into harmony then at the next seemingly vying for supremacy.
Whip- the drums return. Scratching creeping creatures emerge for 'Interlude', creating quite an eerie atmos.
'Reflective' starts with very moody pads. The drums give a feel of foreboding, a squelchy bass line heightening the tension whilst a lovely little questing melody provides a mysterious contrast. I've heard nothing like this combination of sounds and rhythms before and I'm completely drawn in by it all.
'Mindmists' contains yet another wonderful collage of sounds then piano and gurgling slithering effects. We start to chug along again and there's even Mellotron thrown in there adding a further level of mystery. There is an unclutteredness to it all and yet so much is going on that it is just impossible to take it all in.
'Pale Yellow Sky' rumbles into life. And these rumbles are so incredibly deep. Little melodic note droplets fall like water from a carved roof high above. Ticking percussion mixes with the coolest a beats which grab the attention and don't let go.
'Distracted' is initially a riot of bleeps and twittery sounds. Two sequences and a rapid staccato rhythm suddenly propel the track forward and I'm taken with it on the back of the bubbling cauldron of pulsations. Then it's all stop and I'm left in a delightful state of float before the syncopations return and I'm off again. We finish with another rather spooky section, a voice being heard so low in the mix that it is impossible to work out the words. This of course makes it seem even more sinister.
'Crying Spells' has a slow build up, a throbbing pulse and swirling effects very gradually getting louder but never really bursting through. Again it's all so tremendously moody but this time in a brooding understated sort of way.

What an album! File under 'God Knows' or 'Genius', both would be applicable. Truly unique and Very Highly Recommended to anyone who wants to try something that is new but also accessible.

2007. DL A sound wave, dark and droning hops in opening of Beneath Fear. A variegated intro, which lets emerge a fine piano melody, stiff in a dense sound fauna. This soft tune shares its harmonies with a cloud of tonalities as varied as the fear can have its reasons; flutes, whistling synth with the melodious set of themes, percussions hopping and jerking in a light and lugubrious environment. If the tempo is of equal appearance, it becomes more implosive in the end, hammering the rhythm with the force of fear. Interesting? Of course! Parallel Worlds, or Greek musician Bakis Sirros, presents a totally awesome title in Obsessive Surrealism; the perfect fusion between EM and electronica. A world of rich sound textures and disconcerting tempos, which are moulded perfectly to the sound effects and samplings meticulously proportioned by Bakis Sirros. This defender of analogical sonorities create thus an extraordinary effect of richness to juxtaposed dimensions, as in a parallel world, which fills with wonder and which changes many data in a musical world where the sound machines don?t have borders.
This gives additional languorous effects on titles like Different Pathways and the aggressive Into the Caves of the Mind where the ingenuous lead lines are absorbed by sound effects that propagate an opposite rhythm. An incredible and subtle moulding, as if my invisible clone would go in front of me and absorb me while passing... I mould in him and am his forms. Completely brilliant.
These strokes of genius pullulate on Obsessive Surrealism, of the avant-gardism publisher DIN Records, which specializes in the Contemporary Electronic Music.

With its vaporous gas jets, Empty Human Cells presents a static intro. Gradually, a circular tempo is install supported on deform bass and percussive, if not hammering, sound effects which flies, whereas environment becomes intriguing, on short symphonic layers.
With a title as striking as Increasing Complexity, we expect an insane swirl. But we have instead a small islands beat, with xylophonists percussions. The beauty of this track is this distortional line of electronic percussions, which is moulded to a suave and flowing tempo.
A beautiful throbbing tempo wakes up Reflective senses. Slow, like a hypnotic pulsation, a fat and round sequence oscillates through synthetic pads that float gently, on a more and more hopping sequence. A strange cascade, to strings synths, crosses this bouncing movement which takes a form of undulating jazz with bewitching layers and very effective percussions.
Whereas Mindmists makes us visit the corridors as deviating as Empty Human Cells, with more variances in the rhythms, Pale Yellow Sky is a beautiful meeting piano/cello, in a lounge environment of amplified percussions. Still, the tempo is solitary and is carved around sound effects and samplings.
Aggressive and tasty, Distracted strikes us full whip with a heavy electronic approach, as if Ramp would have built this movement. A powerful title which is an absolute synthetic effervescence, in a loud ambiance, bordering Mark Shreeve and Ramp limits. Still on the upbeat, Crying Spells has the look of its title. An intense paranoiac bolero, with unpleasant choirs on satanic pulsations. What an opus!

From the first to the last key, I was struck by the musical approach of Parallel Worlds on Obsessive Surrealism, which gives me the same impact as Brian Eno with Nerve Net. Everywhere, samplers and sound effects paper the parts length into broad, over sizing the structures, all in their giving an artistic depth to the astonishing paradox. Very good, very refreshing, we perceive the parallelism intrusion with an amazing subtlety, signs of a perfect symbiosis.

2007. Sylvain Lupari / Canada Drama, melodrama, psychodrama. Those states imbue the syllabus Greek electronician Bakis Sirros, operating under the nom de disque Parallel Worlds, has chosen as his dictum for Obsessive Surrealism, instructing us from out of the darker amphitheaters of the Berlin school, window blinds drawn tight. Well, perhaps 'Berlin school' isn't the best appellation to use here. Sirros makes sounds that seem perfectly happy at play in the fields of the lords synth and sequencer, but what actually grunts and growls its way across the battered landscape reveals something of a distinctly modern Modular mind.

Titles such as 'Beneath Fear', 'Empty Human Cells', and 'Into the Caves of the Mind' connote a far more Freudian preoccupation with altered consciousness than the average desiccated Krautrock hippy. Fixating on feral pinging resonances, moody nomenclature, and the noises emitted by scuttling tiny electronic beasties going bump in the night, Obsessive Surrealism acts like the monkey wrench thrown in the machinery of B.S. (doubleentendre intentional, folks).
To wit: 'Increasing Complexity' is all prescience and poise, muddied pulses wafting in a nocturnal thrush of chimes and argumentative insect chatter, something of a respite from the terminator synth-tug that envelopes 'Empty Human Cells', which is about as exhilaratingly scary as the descriptor suggests. Sirros is no doubt attuned to the fact that space is indeed the place. But it's inner space, though, those strange little areas in the ducts of the mind that fascinates him most, that lead directly to the malevolent monoliths of buzz, gurgle and drift set into motion on 'Reflective'.
Yes, there's some abject dread here in these synthetic surrealities, as if Sirros OD'ed on a surfeit of Philip K. Dick and 70s Harlan Ellison spec-fiction; 'Pale Yellow Sky' is a compelling enough experience in and of itself, curling noises eddying in and out of shimmering black vacuums that have no mouth yet must scream. The tension here is palpable, the music's edges serrated, pitted.

This ain't your usual pixie grinnin' to the cosmos kind of thing, which is why time might paint Obsessive Surrealism as a minor masterpiece of the (anti)genre.

2007. Darren Bergstein / USA This release from 2007 offers 63 minutes of haunting electronic music.
Parallel Worlds is: Bakis Sirros, with John Sirros joining in on one live track.

Languid electronics laced with haunting harmonics generate melodies supported by understated e-perc of a bubbling nature. Keyboards provide dreamy chords that are supported by airy textures which exhibit a nocturnal flair. The electronics are generally lighthearted and breezy; even the periodic denser tonalities bear a soft sonic caress.
A subtle illbient quality lies buried in this tuneage, but it is not prominent enough to disrupt the overall heavenly nature with any substantial edginess. This glitchy seasoning is carefully implanted in the music in a manner that is almost subliminal, enhancing the tuneage with a ghostly charge, crackling in a fashion that is sedate and unintrusive. This fusion of contemporary EM and crackling techno gives the music a highly intriguing sound that is quite appealing.
The rhythms are equally soothing, providing a calm propulsion rather than a driving beat presence. Some of the tempos gurgle as if resounding from underwater or perhaps deep inside a cloud of glutinous gas. It's almost as if the percussives were generated by organic machinery.
These compositions display a distinctly celestial quality, ethereal yet sturdily crafted with body. The melodies consist of keyboards thriving in a textural medium, gentle riffs surrounded by cottony expanses of bewitching disposition.

Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity "Obsessive Surrealism", the latest cd by Parallel Worlds, is a synth lover’s dream.
The release is the fourth cd by Parallel Worlds, the first on the DIN label. We’ve been impressed by previous DIN releases, and Obsessive Surrealism is no exception. The cd is a dense blend of very electronic-sounding elements with very organic-sounding ones.
Parallel Worlds is the performing name for Greek musician Bakis Sirros. He’s been active in the Greek music scene for about 10 years, and has performed at a variety of electronic music events. He’s also collaborated with other musicians on other projects, including Interconnected (IDM) and Memory Geist (ambient/experimental).
Sirros’ music on this cd emphasisizes synthesis, using electronic gear and software to create new sounds and effects. His music is melodic and is very effective at creating various moods, but what really sets it apart is Sirros’ creative sound work.
Sirros puts a huge variety of gear to use, including: Doepfer A100 modular, Analogue Systems RS-Integrator modular, Technosaurus System D modular, modified EMS VCS-3 x2), ARP 2600, Odyssey, Roland System 100, System 100m, modified Oberheim 2-voice, Korg MS50, MS20, SQ10, Trident, PE1000, Analogue Solutions Concussor modular, modified TR606, Nord modular, JP8000, Microwave XT, MS2000R, S750, Emax 2, Korg ES1, Roland Space Echo, Korg SE500 and additional sound manipulators. While this is an impressive gear list, Sirros appears to be most interested in wringing the most out of traditional synthesis. As a result, the music doesn’t sound like the result of intense studio editing, but more like he’s captured studio performances.

The music itself is pure synth music, leaning towards the dark ambient. It shares some elements with synth artists of the 70’s, but also with the work of contemporary synth music masters, like Robert Rich and Ian Boddy. The pieces are relatively short soundscapes that emphasize sequenced elements, along with synth-strings, "vocal" pads and quirky glitch percussion effects. In addition to the creative sound design, Sirros makes very effective use of stereo space; listening to the CD on a set of monitors revealed the depth of the music’s range, while listening on earbuds highlighted a lot of creative stereo effects.
One of the highlights of the cd is the track Increasing Complexity. At its heart, it’s a simple melodic sequence on piano. Sirros treats the piano so that it’s muted and bathed in reverb, giving it an distant, underwater sound reminiscent of the piano effects on Brian Eno & Harold Budd’s collaborations. Over this, Sirros layers strange echoing birdlike noises, synthesized percussion effects, a sequenced bassline and evolving synth pads, building the piece to a dense jungle of sound. By the end, the piano fragment that holds things together has almost disappeared, leaving just the organic synth effects.
Another great track is Pale Yellow Sky. Like Increasing Complexity, the track uses a minimal melodic fragment as a framework for organizing a collection of uneasy sounds. Halfway through the track, the music dies down to almost nothing, focusing your attention on water-drip percussive effects, before building up again. Towards the end of the track, the melodic elements die out, leaving just drones, effects and ambience. Throughout, Sirros frequently shifts the focus of the music from background to foreground and back, highlighting the layers of creativity in the mix.

Parallel WorldsObsessive Surrealism is full of very original sound design, but also makes effective use of synth music staples like sequences, synth-strings and vocal pads. The combination draws you quickly into the pieces, where the depth of the music’s quirkiness slowly reveals itself.
Highly recommended.

2007. Synthtopia / USA What caught my attention first was the title of this new album by Greek synthesist and sound sculptor Bakis Sirros. Now, let's see if there's anything Dali-esque about the music.

Dark tones and some bleeps is what we get for a few seconds into "Beneath Fear". Then a moody melodic refrain comes in. It's all rather dramatic, with electronic rhythms and Mellotron choir. This is the moodiest piece I've heard from Bakis so far and in a way it's a progression from his previous, IDM-influenced style. Don't get me wrong, it's still very contemporary sounding, but somehow the mood is different, despite the bass drum that really adds this "techno" element to the music. This is some mysterious and at the same time melancholic music. Not bad at all.
"Different Pathways" has a more stiff rhythm and strange effects. There's still that mysterious aura and a somewhat claustrophobic atmosphere that permeates this track. Some of the sounds that Bakis coaxes out of his modular synths are quite unusual and it's clear that he'd spent some days (or nights) just programming the synths, searching for the right sound (isn't EM all about creating sounds?).
"Empty Human Cells" introduces a more somber and outright aggressive sound. At this stage the music really starts sounding like the album's title. A strange thing to notice is that the rhythm seems to be somewhat out of sync with the bass line, but it sounds organic and intentional.
"Increasing Complexity" starts with deep sine wave bell tones somewhat similar to the sound of an electric piano. Looks like the somber, dark and melancholic mood of this album is set to continue for a while, this time in a more minimalist framing. The track has only got a sparse accompaniment of strange and /or darkish atmospheric sounds and a repetitive structure (which is a bit odd, considering the track's title).
"Into the Caves of the Mind" introduces some broken rhythms, while the atmosphere itself refuses to stray from the mysterious and, once again, somewhat claustrophobic. It's like the world has collapsed and there's only here and now - the singularity of sound.
As if it was not enough, "Interlude" is even deeper and darker, approaching the territory of the darker forms of Ambient. Great, simply great stuff!
"Reflective" brings in more cosmic elements; at least that's how it sounded to my ears. It's also one of the more Techno-influenced tracks here. As someone who doesn't like Techno music, I found most of it a bit hard going, but I still liked the mood of this track and most of the supporting textures.
"Mindmists" sounds like a title for an atmospheric track. Indeed, this is deep stuff, with dark piano notes and mucho mutating, experimental synth timbres. Another attraction of this track is the appearance of Mellotron strings (I think it's the first time they are heard on "Obsessive Surrealism").
"Pale Yellow Sky" has close to none of the darker shades present on most of the tracks, but the sense of mystery is still the focal point of this number. I really like the strings / pads arrangements of this one.
"Distracted" is somewhat jarring, with its noisy textures and strident bass lines. Looks like it's the most upbeat track on the album. It's also one of those techno-ish numbers, but it beats most of what's sold as Techno or Trance to dust! Very interesting music with some tasty synth sounds.
"Crying Spells" has a marching bass line that sounds like a procession heading straight into a hell hole! All the dark synth sounds, all the noisy injections make this track a real winner.

Overall, Bakis presents quite stark (and decidedly electronic) music on this release. I mean, it's all grey. No other colors, just grey, mostly of the darker scales. There's hardly a bright section to be heard. The music is imbued in melancholy, mystery and claustrophobia.
Going back to the title, there's a certain "manic" or "obsessive" feeling about most of this album, but "surrealism"? Hmm... I guess if Dali lived in an isolation tank that flew through cosmic void, then perhaps his paintings could have been the visual equivalent of the music presented here.
A very interesting release on the DiN label and highly recommended for fans of contemporary EM and for those who simply want to hear something a bit different.

2007. Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia of Electronic Music It's a distinctly odd place, Parallel Worlds, a universe Bakis Sirros has been building up over a series of intriguing albums. Obsessive Surrealism is his Worlds' fourth, and once again we are invited into the dark recesses, but of what and where precisely?
The aural landscapes are not really dystopian, although they're all far from anything one could describe as pleasant.

One begins by walking into a world "Beneath Fear" taking "Different Pathways" through the musical maze. Both numbers induce a somewhat clammy feel, a reflection perhaps of the cool dampness of this underground world, or maybe just a primordial reactive nervousness to the unknown. In either case, it the numbers intended to heighten this sense of disquietude, they certainly succeed. The vistas are totally alien, the rhythms often discomforting, the atmospheres quivering with a sense of foreboding, the melody lines brooding at best, gloomy at worse. Strange noises intrude from the shadows, and there always seems to be something skittering around busily in the darkest corners of the pieces.
One imagines the many sci-fi plots involving humans walking unnoticed through strange worlds, while all around them exotic creatures scurry about performing inexplicable tasks. The explorers' initial fear gradually dampen, but never quite dissipate, as wonder and curiosity arises in its stead. Sirros is the master of this mood, his rhythms, often slightly askew, keep listeners off-balance, his simple melody lines are equally off center, teetering between light and dark, increasing one's sense of insecurity, while the gloomy atmospheres heighten the tension.
"Into the Caves of the Mind", for instance, is a master work whose center is totally askew, and "Increasing Complexity" shows how it's done, as Sirros takes a simple, pretty keyboard melody and slowly builds it sequential block by block into a thoroughly haunting number.
The richer sounds of "Reflective" is like a distorted infinity mirror, with a million lights looking into darkness.
"Empty Human Cells" is more rhythmic in orientation and thoroughly creepy in feel, while "Distracted", the set's only compulsive, driving piece, is a manic ride through the netherworld.

But for all its alien feeling, the track titles suggest this bizarre world is not to be found in a galaxy far, far away, but within the mind of a human nearly as unknowable. A chilling adventure in every sense of that word.

Jo-An Greene / All Music Guide Gleich vorweg: hier geht’s nicht um Clubtauglichen Industrial, oder Szenegerechten Gothic. Macht aber nix, es geht um gute, eigenständige, elektronische Ambient Musik aus Griechenland. Bakis Sirros, aka Parallel Worlds schickt einen mit Obsessive Surrealism mit 11 Tracks für knapp eine Stunde in eine andere Dimension.
Die Tracks bieten reichlich Abwechslung, pflegen dabei aber dennoch alle den gleichen Stiel: Sanfte Synthflächen bilden einen weichen Teppich, über die sich einfache träumerische Melodien, und vor allem zahlreiche rhythmische Effekt- und Perkussionssounds legen. Mal zwitscherts, mal klirrts..
Im gesamten gibt sich ein schön melancholischer, atmosphärischer Sound, bei dem es viel zu entdecken gibt. Ideal zum relaxen, aber auch zum konzentriert hinhören. Ganz weghören ist mir jedenfalls nicht gelungen. Nach dem Motto „alternating between darkness and light" gibt sich die Stimmung manchmal positiv, und manchmal schön düster, klingt aber stets auf eine interessante Weise fremdartig.
Richtig zur Sache geht’s nie, es ist eben Ambient. Am meisten dreht da noch Track 10 - Distracted auf, der sich ein wenig aggressiver gibt als der Rest der Scheibe. Auf Gesang wird gänzlich verzichtet. Vielleicht muss man ein wenig Synthfreak sein, damit einem ein so ausgefuchstes Sounddesign gefällt. Ein Blick in die Innenseite des Covers verrät auch gleich, dass die Musik von einem Solchen kommt: Ein Foto von einem Großen Modularschrank mit Leuchtenden LEDs (Borgschiff lässt grüßen), sowie eine Satte Liste mit „Selected Equipment" zeugen davon.
Fazit:
Soundscapes vom feinsten. 5 out of 5 stars.

2007. Britzel / Germany I'm very impressed and I heard the CD three times, some pieces even more. It is by far Parallel Worlds' best album and they will have problems to top it in the future :-). And believe me: I don't say it because I want to ingratiate as the A-100 is mentioned and used. It is really a masterpiece of music but not only of "sounds" (many of the cds obtain from other musicians include excellent sounds - but miss musicality, Parallel Worlds' new album has definitely both)!
When I close my eyes I find myself flying in a spacecraft over a dark, forbidden planet in an unknown solar system. I really love the mood that that is generated by this music and - as already mentioned by others - it would be an excellent movie soundtrack for a Carpenter film.
My favoured tracks are Beneath Fear, Interlude, Reflective (I think this is my favorite at the moment), Distracted and Crying Spells.
In any case the album will obtain a place of honor in my CD collection.
Thank you, Parallel Worlds, for this music.

2007. Dieter Doepfer / Germany Greek musician Bakis Sirros is Parallel Worlds, and his Obsessive Surrealism album is an experimental work that is perfectly wedded to Ian Boddy's DiN label, ambient electronica that pushes the sonic envelope.

"Beneath Fear" percolates with restrained aggression as light bass, beats and electronics come together sneakily in a vaguely sinister fashion. The mood reminds me much of UK favorite Node, known for their dark take on Berlin school. Though retro fans should enjoy the Mellotron choirs in the opening track, Bakis' music covers a variety of electronic territory.
For example, "Into the Caves of the Mind" veers into dark industrial ambient like Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber's Synaesthesia project.
"Empty Human Cells" is representative of the offerings, highly synthesized processed sounds that are uniquely assembled into tightly arranged adventurous compositions.
"Interlude" gurgles and churns its way along.
Bass and beats figure prominently in several tracks, such as "Reflective". Though it all has an edge to it, the music has a surprising accessibility as well.
Still, the tone remains murky throughout much of it, typified by "Mindmists" as it ambles forward.
A notable exception is the energetic number "Distracted" before the melancholy atmospheric "Crying Spells" brings the disc to a close. Recommended.

2007. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space Bakis Sirros ist der musikalisch kreative Kopf von Parallel Worlds der mit „Obsessive Surrealism" ein sehr vielschichtiges und abwechslungsreiches Ambient-Werk veröffentlicht hat, in dessen Mittelpunkt dezent urbane Grooves und atmosphärische Keyboardflächen stehen. Das Album hat über die gesamte Spieldauer gesehen einen sehr futuristischen Touch wobei Sirros sich in seinen musikalischen Einflüssen von New Age- und Electro-Pionieren wie Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk und ähnlichen Bands genau so beeinflusst sieht, wie von Ambient- und Trance-Acts wie Aphex Twin oder Orbital.
Demzufolge offen ist „Obsessive Surrealism" dann auch in seiner stilistischen Ausprägung, sowohl im Hinblick auf die verwendeten Sounds wie auch die Art und Weise, wie die einzelnen Stücke komponiert und arrangiert wurden.
Die CD ist limitiert auf 1000 Stück und bietet über die gesamte Spielzeit eine kurzweilige und sehr ambitionierte Arbeit, die Genre-Freunden zweifelsohne zusagen wird.

Obliveon Moody electronica with strong structures and deep atmospheric backdrops. Obsessive Surrealism delivers eleven melodic synthesiser tracks where low key beats or driving electro-grooves propel shadowy compositions with periodic hints of exposed Berlin roots. Rhythmic sequencer patterns work in tandem with programmed percussion to give most pieces a clearly measured pace, that said, the grooves often break down into fluttering interludes or textural ambient explorations. Parallel Worlds makes abundant use of analogue hardware to create a sound that harks back to the electronica of previous decades whilst set within a twenty first century context. The melodic content is understated, sometimes carried by drifting chord progressions; sometimes dimly lit phrases shot through with percolating, flickering sequences.

MOOD: The range of synthetic sound here is broad, inventive and engrossing; the style also quite varied from track to track - yet the whole album is very coherent, establishing a well thought out sonic environment. There is a fairly consistent shadow hanging over most of this album - low light technology and mysterious spaciness combining into sinewy, ominous themes. The beats at their most strident produce an engine-like drive, a dramatic futuristic regularity, almost militaristic - but frequently these are allowed to break down or disperse into lighter rhythms or even into beatless expanse.
ARTWORK: An abstract image that looks something like a photograph taken from a TV screen fills three panels of this package - thin horizontal bands of blue, red and green form dark geometric shapes - on the front a narrow white vertical strip holds the titles and the DiN catalogue numeral 26. On the reverse a broader strip of white holds track titles and their timings as well as informing listeners that this is a limited edition of 1000 copies only. Inside the two leaf booklet opens out to reveal a bank of sound gear illuminated by small rows of lights, meters and glowing digits. Facing this large image, the remaining inner panel is again white with black text in a simple font - a repeated track list, credits and thanks along with a gear list of 'selected equipment'.
OVERALL: Parallel Worlds is primarily the project of Greek musician Bakis Sirros, although collaborators occasionally lend their talents to the name. Here Obsessive Surrealism is appropriately presented via Ian Boddy's DiN label - the experimental, slightly ambient approach to pure electronica fitting nicely into the label's catalogue. Promotional material explains that "Parallel Worlds use mostly Hardware machines. Mainly huge Analogue Modular systems and Analogue Step Sequencers of the past and present combined with digital FM and virtual analogue synths and sampling". This love of gear is evident in the soundscaping of the music - in addition to the emotive nature of the compositions themselves, there is a clear delight in sound sculpture and sonic layering - clearly a lot of time has gone into the production of this album. Bakis Sirros is also behind the new IDM/electronica project Interconnected with Ingo Zobel (of DRON, Signalform, Self Oscillate, Datasette)
and the Ambient / experimental project called Memory Geist with Steve Law (of Zen Paradox, Starseed Transmission, Guild Of Fire, etc.).
WHO WILL LIKE THIS ALBUM: Obsessive Surrealism will likely please DiN regulars as well as fans of evolving Berlin school electronica. Go for this one if you enjoy moody synthetics with clear beats and ambient cloudscapes.

2007. Morpheus Music / United Kingdom Dear Bakis, at the weekend I finally found the time to listen to your new CD unhurriedly. I'm very impressed and I heard the CD three times, some pieces even more. It is by far your best album and you will have problems to top it in the future :). And believe me: I don't say it because I want to ingratiate as the A-100 is mentioned and used. It is really a masterpiece of music but not only of "sounds" (many of the cds I obtain from other musicians include excellent sounds - but miss musicality, your new album has definitely both)!
When I close my eyes I find myself flying in a spacecraft over a dark, forbidden planet in an unknown solar system. I really love the mood that that is generated by this music and - as already mentioned by others - it would be an excellent movie soundtrack for a Carpenter film.
My favoured tracks are Beneath Fear, Interlude, Reflective (I think this is my favorite at the moment), Distracted and Crying Spells.
In any case the album will obtain a place of honor in my CD collection. Thank you for this music.

2007. Dieter Parallel Worlds ist der Projektname des Griechen Bakis Sirros. Auf seinem 63minütigen aktuellen Album „Obsessive Surrealism" befinden sich elf Ambienttracks. Bakis hat die einzelnen Tracks mit Ausnahme von „Distracted", dass er zusammen mit John Sirros (seinem Bruder?) gemacht hat, zwischen 2002 und 2006 komponiert.
Die Musik von Bakis weist ungewöhnliche Klangfarben auf. Sehr schöne Harmonielinien werden von Rhythmussequenzen und Klangeffekten durchzogen, was eine Mixtur aus Ambient, atmosphärischen Soundscapes, modernen Electronica-Elementen mit einem Hauch von 70’er Jahre-Feeling und Electropop der 80’er darstellt. Im weitesten Sinne könnten Parallelen zu Wolfram Spyra gezogen werden, aber wirklich nur im allerweitesten Sinne. Es ist schwer diese Musik einzuordnen, dazu klingt sie zu eigenständig und anders. Der Hörer wird eine neue, faszinierende Klangwelt entdecken, zumindest mir erging es so.

Mal klingt das sehr harmonisch wie im Opener „Beneath Fear", dann etwas düster und technisch wie in „Different Pathways".
„Empty Human Cells" klingt wieder technisch aber durch Sounds, die an Wasser /Flüssigkeit erinnern, irgendwie organisch.
Sehr sanft entführt einen „Increasing Compexity" in einen anderen Klangkosmos, in den man sich völlig verlieren kann.
Zwar ist „Reflective" durch unterschiedliche Sounds sehr abwechslungsreich, doch weist es eine gewisse Monotonie auf.
Und „Distracted" ist ein Track, der mitreißt, weil er eine sehr schöne Melodielinie aufweist und diese über weite Strecken mit tanzbare, technoartigen Rhythmen verbindet.
Der letzte Track „Crying Spells" ist wieder sehr monoton und überzeugt mich nicht. Schade, eigentlich sollte der letzte Track einer CD noch mal Appetit auf die Repeat-Taste machen.

Mit „Obsessie Surrealism" ist Bakis eine sehr schöne, außergewöhnliche Ambientplatte gelungen, bei der er mit unterschiedlichen Rhythmussequenzen arbeitet.
Für mich ist Parallel Worlds eine echte Entdeckung. "

2007. Stephan Schelle / MusikZirkus Magazin Parallel Worlds is Bakis Sirros of Greece, and this is one of the best non-ambient, non-Berlin School (though the influences are there) albums of electronic music in recent memory — with a mouthwatering arsenal of analog modulars and synthesizers, to boot.
Ten short and mid-length compositions (no epics) gives this a very "soundtrack" feel. Ian Boddy's DiN label keeps churning out winners!

2007. Sea Of Tranquility / USA "Obsessive Surrealism" is the fourth full-length release of musician Bakis Sirros aka Parallel Worlds, one continuing the path of innovative dreamy atmospheric electronics since he started his music project in 1998. In a way he again succeeded in surprising me as Bakis reaches new heights with the eleven tracks featured on the album. The combination of fat sounds from his big analogue modulars and step sequencers with the output of modern electronic gear has worked out very well this time.

There’s a beautiful sense of warmth and melancholy to be felt throughout the whole album, especially in the intimate sound sculptures of the opening track "Beneath Fear", the soft lingering of "Increasing Complexity" or the dense realms of "Reflective". And although these 60 minutes of music as such may not be that easy or accessible at times ("Into the Caves of the Mind" is delving just a bit to deep for me), the emotional contents is always there or to be noticed just beneath the surface.

But only if you have an open mind towards this kind of music and allow your ears to hear its deeper level. Nice going Bakis!

2007. Bert Strolenberg Un surrealismo che incentra la propria ricerca sulle infinite potenzialità del Doepfer A100 modular e sulla combinazione tra atmosfere sognanti ispirate all'elettronica analogica e agli anni settanta quanto ai traguardi raggiunti in questi anni dalla musica ambient.

'Obsessive Surrealism' conferma la straordinaria visionarietà di un Bakis Sirros sempre più vincente nella catalogazione delle proprie emozioni e influenze. L'inesorabile e morboso incedere di questo manifesto ossessivo di elettronica moderna trova il suo apice assoluto in 'Different Pathways' e 'Into The Caves Of The Mind' che pitturano in un contesto schematico ma mai freddo la deframmentazione organica di quelle cellule visive con le quali siamo abituati a confrontarci quotidianamente.
Nessun confine e nessun limite è stabilito in tale ricerca anche quando a tratteggiarsi sono 'Pale Yellow Sky' e 'Crying Spells' che si allontanano leggermente dall'imprevedibilità generale per ricordarci che anche le menti più sperimentali amano sottolineare i propri concetti.

Non fatevi scappare l'artwork curato da Progs von Dön limitato alle prime 1000 copie.

2007. Divine / Dagheisha music Obsessive Surrealism is the new album by Parallel Worlds. An outstanding deep album with a multi layered structure. With each note of each track you’ll enter deeper and deeper the "parallel worlds". Bridging between classic electronic in the spirit of Tangerine Dream music and modern IDM artists this album sets a new benchmark. The use of analogue equipment gives this album nonesuch warmth that captures the listener.
But don’t get me wrong this album doesn’t sound "retro" or repeats the past; it keeps the faith in the roots of electronic music and opens the door into a new world of experimental music. The complex arrangements disperse a claustrophobic AND a snug feeling at once. This is intelligent song writing.
Right from the first notes of this album you have the feeling that you become a part of something special. Maybe an obsessive Surrealism!
A great album, inimitable! Perfect 10 ++

2007. Michael Mock / CUEMIX Magazine "Obsessive Surrealism" is the fourth CD by Parallel Worlds. He has previously released "Existence" in 2003 and "Insight" in 2004 and "Far Away Light" in 2005. He has also had tracks included on several compilation releases.
The CD is a dense blend of very electronic-sounding elements with very organic-sounding ones. Sirros’ music on this CD emphasises synthesis, using electronic gear and software to create new sounds and effects. His music is melodic and is very effective at creating various moods, but what really sets it apart is Sirros’ creative sound work. The music itself is pure synth music, leaning towards the dark ambient. It shares some elements with synth artists of the 70’s, but also with the work of contemporary synth music masters, like Robert Rich and Ian Boddy.
The pieces are relatively short soundscapes that emphasize sequenced elements, along with synth-strings, "vocal" pads and quirky glitch percussion effects. Throughout, Sirros frequently shifts the focus of the music from background to foreground and back, highlighting the layers of creativity in the mix. Parallel Worlds’ Obsessive Surrealism is full of very original sound design, but also makes effective use of synth music staples like sequences, synth-strings and vocal pads. The combination draws you quickly into the pieces, where the depth of the music’s quirkiness slowly reveals itself. Occasionally we do drift into rather 'ambient' territory but when it's good 'Obsessive Surrealism' gives Tangerine Dream a run for their money. Krautrock fans and gear-hounds look closely, there is still music being made without an over-reliance on computer technology - shock horror!

The Carpenter-isms aside, these Obsessive compositions do not ride the coattails of the past; even when the Rubycon-esque 'Tron choirs provide a counterpoint to the serpentine bass sequence in "Beneath Fear" what is being enacted is process, not homage.
Slowly building tension via cumulative gradations of sounds murky and crisp that unites in fear-mongering tapestries overt enough to affect the lingering effects of razor cuts, cuts like "Into The Caves Of The Mind" and "Mindmists" also teeter on electro-prog. The intermittent drum pattern, chime melody, creeping bass and deft application of static pops and pin-drops at just the right volume translate "Different Pathways" into the sonic equivalent of quaint supernatural horror without veering into dark wave.
Comparably, "Empty Human Cells" possesses just the right combination of dynamics to integrate into a pivotal scene or sweltering climax of some faux-grindhouse horror flick with its ominous bass pattern.
"Distracted" skirts ambient territory, but Sirros' mastery of sound-sculpt and sample-shape isn't likely to be replicated in any release from that genre.
One of the highlights of the CD is the track Increasing Complexity. At its heart, it’s a simple melodic sequence on piano. Sirros treats the piano so that it’s muted and bathed in reverb, giving it a distant, underwater sound reminiscent of the piano effects on Brian Eno & Harold Budd’s collaborations. Over this, Sirros layers strange echoing birdlike noises, synthesized percussion effects, a sequenced bassline and evolving synth pads, building the piece to a dense jungle of sound. By the end, the piano fragment that holds things together has almost disappeared, leaving just the organic synth effects.
Another great track is Pale Yellow Sky. Like Increasing Complexity, the track uses a minimal melodic fragment as a framework for organizing a collection of uneasy sounds. Halfway through the track, the music dies down to almost nothing, focusing your attention on water-drip percussive effects, before building up again. Towards the end of the track, the melodic elements die out, leaving just drones, effects and ambience.

Overall, Sirros's first recording the label, Obsessive Surrealism might be the best-sounding purely electronic release this year, what with its minimalist melodies, healthy emphasis on Stygian textures, and phantasmal bass-sequences — the sort that tend to overshadow other aspects of the composition.

2007. Electrogothic.gr / Greece From Greece comes not only Vangelis and Yanni, but also Parallel Worlds, an artist and sometimes duo that creates music solely on analogue-sounding synthesizers, both modern and old types. Influences are Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Robert Rich, Steve Roach, Pete Namlook, Jarre, Biosphere, Autechre, Plaid, Plone, Seefeel and other artists, and a mix of all of the above is what you get on Obsessive Surrealism, though it is not music that necessarily is similar to the mentioned artists. The 11-track album offers spacious, dreamy, mostly rhythmic soundscapes with wide strokes of the soundbrush. The album sounds like high, clean production values and harmonic and melodic soundscapes.
Strong melodic themes are not the forté of this album, however. The emphasis is on rhythms, sounds, harmonics, structures and effects, rather than cute melodies. The sleeve notes lists an impressive cast of synthesizer "actors", directed by group leader Bakis Sirros; among others are EMS VCS-3, ARP 2600, Roland System 100, Korg MS20 and MS50, but also newer gear such as Technosaurus System D, Roland JP-8000 and Waldorf Microwave XT.

The album thus sounds wide, fat, organic and vibrating. The overall sound quality is excellent, but the selection of interesting and unusual sounds are better in some tracks than others. Even though the tracks have that distinct analogue sound, the production is not typically retro, since the song structures takes inspiration from several different substyles from all the decades between the classic 1970s and up until today. The compositions are less rigid than many popular electronic music "songs" and have a movie soundtrack structure where the music follows an imaginary video, rather than straight linear development. This gives room for surprises, twists and turns, but it also means that the tracks on this album not always go somewhere specific. A few tracks, like the opening and the closing tracks, are a bit anonymous, but they are saved by the production.
One of the best tracks, Interlude, has an amazing dark-ish atmosphere and sounds very promising, but lasts only 11 seconds more than two minutes. I would love to have heard this track more developed.

Obsessive Surrealism is an excellent sounding album with one of the best sound designs I have heard this year, and several good compositions that has a personal and interesting stamp. The album is not trying to copy the famous artists it is inspired by, to its benefit. There is enough variety and "plot twists" (to use another movie analogy) to sustain interest until the end, but one or two synth solos/themes would not have hurt, as the album already covers so much, except that. I am quite sure that most fans of melodic, spacey electronic music such as Vangelis, Andy Pickford or Mark Shreeve/ARC will find plenty of moments on enjoy on this CD.

2007. Glenn Folkvord It's unmistakable: had John Carpenter sat down to record a studio album in the early '80s independent of the scores he provided for his own movies — with which engineer/synthesist Alan Howarth always lent a huge helping hand and mixing board or two — the hypothetical end-product would have been very near what Obsessive Surrealism by Parallel Worlds (aka Greek synthesist Bakis Sirros) sounds like — save the penultimate, more house-flavored track. Sirros's first recording for Ian Boddy's DiN label, Obsessive Surrealism might be the best-sounding purely electronic release this year, what with its minimalist melodies, healthy emphasis on Stygian textures, and phantasmal bass-sequences — the sort that tend to overshadow other aspects of the composition. Sirros coaxed this textural triumph from a plenitude of genuinely analog modular equipment by Doepfer, Roland and Analogue Systems, and vintage pieces ranging from ARP's 2600 & Odyssey and Yamaha's VCS3 (two of them) to a Nord Modular and Korg's MS-50/20 & Trident synths.

The Carpenter-isms aside, these Obsessive compositions do not ride the coattails of the past; even when the Rubycon-esque 'Tron choirs provide a counterpoint to the serpentine bass sequence in "Beneath Fear," what is being enacted is process, not homage. Slowly building tension via cumulative gradations of sounds murky and crisp that unite in fear-mongering tapestries overt enough to effect the lingering effects of razor cuts, cuts like "Into The Caves Of The Mind" and "Mindmists" also teeter on electro-prog. The intermittent drum pattern, chime melody, creeping bass and deft application of static pops and pin-drops at just the right volume translate "Different Pathways" into the sonic equivalent of quaint supernatural horror without veering into darkwave.
Comparably, "Empty Human Cells" possesses just the right combination of dynamics to integrate into a pivotal scene or sweltering climax of some faux-grindhouse horror flick with its ominous bass pattern. In turn, "Increasing Complexity" temporarily trades square dread for ambient space.
"Distracted" skirts illbient territory, but Sirros' mastery of sound-sculpt and sample-shape isn't likely to be replicated in any release from that genre.

In all, Obsessive Surrealism is the most exciting electronic release of 2007.

2007. Elias Granillo / Sea Of Tranquility Bakis Sirros (Parallel Worlds) reinvents retro-EM on Obsessive Surrealism, one of the best EM recordings of the year. As he weaves his way through eleven tracks (many under six minutes - a decision that I applaud, frankly), he immerses the listener in a shadowy realm where a myriad of past EM and electronica influences (chief among them are John Carpenter’s soundtracks) merge with a dark yet lush contemporary tint. A smattering of synth-pop touches, perhaps trace elements of Jarre, Tangerine Dream, or Synergy also surface, as well as echoes of contemporaries like Current, Di Evantile, and others. The music (much of it created on modular analogue instruments) is always couched in an atmosphere permeated with dread, foreboding, menace and mystery. Because the music frequently has a cinematic aspect to it, I think Sirros’ biggest influences were the music from films such as Escape from New York, The Fog, and to lesser degrees, Big Trouble in Little China and The Thing (and yes, I know The Thing soundtrack was actually composed by Ennio Morricone, thankyouverymuch). Regardless whether you will agree with me on this point, Obsessive Surrealism is an entertaining disc and certainly plays better in the foreground rather than as sonic wallpaper. You’ll really want to listen to this one.

The opening "Beneath Fear" gives you a good indication what to expect. Muted bell tones are set off against assorted skittering electronic FX and minor chord washes. Rhythms emerge gradually but build in intensity along with the addition of moody chorals.
"Different Pathways" begins with a steady snare and bass drum beat. Burbling static and organ-like chords are right out of The Thing, and have that same "hair stands up on the back of your neck" effect, as if something is approaching and it’s not gonna be pleasant. Yet, the energy of the song (unlike Carpenter’s soundtracks) is dialed up to a higher intensity level. It’s almost infectious, an intriguing counterpoint to music suffused with dread.
"Empty Human Cells" evokes Escape from New York at times, with the same pulsing rhythms and flurry of synths that marked one of Carpenter’s more sought after works. Sirros settles down only occasionally (too bad) e.g. on "Increasing Complexity" with its echoed piano, bell tones, and undulating drones, eventually married to some midtempo synth bass beats and weird effects.
He takes aim at a mixture of ‘80s dance/synth pop crossed with neon-lit Berlin on the bouncy, energetic "Distracted." Harold Faltemeyer meets Tangerine Dream, perhaps?
The CD ends with the dark Sturm und Drang of "Crying Spells," a welling-up dose of propulsive yet oppressive power, reminding me of Big Trouble in Little China crossed with The Keep (soundtrack by Tangerine Dream).

Despite my numerous allusions to other artists (notably Carpenter and his unnamed accomplice Alan Howarth), don’t be mistaken in thinking Obsessive Surrealism reeks of copycatting. Bakis Sirros is certainly an original. The music here is a hybrid of retro analogue-driven and contemporary EM, with the emphasis on the former but not in a derivative fashion. More than anything else, what Sirros’ infuses this CD with is a delightfully sly mixture of fun and frights.
Charged with a shadowy spookiness and a dose of creepy menace around every corner, the album is very highly recommended.

2007. Bill Binkelman / Wind and Wire A strong sense of narrative drama underlies every track on Parallel Worlds’ superb new CD, Obsessive Surrealism. Lushly dark, beat-driven and meticulously constructed, Surrealism makes great use of frontman Bakis Sirros’ adoration for and mastery of analogue systems. Classic-feel electronic twiddle and sequencer runs blend smoothly with breathy synth pad textures as Sirros leads the listener through his shadowy musical explorations.

"Beneath Fear" opens the disc with a gentle piano riff playing in the middle of an ever-darkening atmosphere. Electro-critters chirp in the undergrowth and a phantom chorus sings like a hymnal.
"Different Pathways" drips with something both sinister and urgent, a feel that carries into the potent, if short, "Empty Human Cells."
The pace slows for "Increasing Complexity," where glitch-and-blip notes arc and bounce over a simple melody.
Two short pieces follow ("Interlude" being the better of the two), providing something of a aural palate cleanser before Sirros hits his stride with the 10-minute "Reflective," where a sequenced bass line stalks like a masked killer on a rain-slicked street. Sirros cites the soundtracks of John Carpenter movies as an influence, and the cinematic tint to Surrealism is obvious—as I have said too many times before, these pieces are bits of background music in search of their scenes.
And it’s never more obvious than in "Reflective."
"Mindmists" grabs hold of the listener with heavy-handed piano chords over weeping strings before spreading out to a lighter, more melodic feel.
"Pale Yellow Sky" offers more glitch-beat goodness (again tinged with the ominous).
"Distracted" is an oddly danceable bit of funk, with its twangy analogue bassline and body-moving backbeat.
The disc ends with "Crying Spells," a piece accented with slightly too bombastic percussion.

Other reviewers have noted appreciatively that Sirros keeps his tracks fairly short. I concur. It allows each piece to be a scene unto itself, an enjoyable-if-melancholy story told wholly and never overdone.
Overall, Obsessive Surrealism is an enjoyable blend of old and new, melody and melancholy, and dark and light and it’s worth many a listen.

2008. John Shanahan / Hypnagogue Ian Boddy's Din label is now famous world-wide as the leading electronic music label that mixes originality with accessibility - you won't hear something on this label that bores you to death and you also won't hear anything that bores holes in you. This is no exception.

The opening track, 6 minutes of "Beneath Fear" immediately serves as testimony. There's a melody line but it's twisted, there's a rhythm but it's angular, there's a texture but it's choral and a strength but it's magical. As keyboard, synth and electronci and electro-percussive rhythms move over each other like tectonic plates slowly coming to life, the feeling is of a giant awakening from a long-held slumber, the piece possessing more atmosphere than purpose, but, in reality, plenty of each.
So much so, that the 5 minutes of "Different Pathways" is altogether lighter as though the giant beast has sprouted wings and is now able to fly, stretch and circle, albeit slowly, as musical muscles are flexed and the synths wheeze and groan in a highly melodic manner, drones the wheeze, bass rumbles the groans, as twinkling synth tunes in the distant, sparkle on top of slowly flowing electro-percussive beats, bonging bass synths and swirling gas clouds of electronics.
The 3 minutes of "Empty Human Cells" is typical of the album as every track is its own entity and yet there seems to be a natural thematic follow-on from the previous piece. Here the sound is altogether bigger, with giant bass synth rhythms booming out slowly as more cosmic synth textures dance behind an array of heavenly melody lines, the dominant force being the dark rhythms that hang like a cloud over the optimism, turning light into something altogether more eerie, the synths gathering strength and an assemblage of rhythms and layers gliding purposefully across a universe of space synth backdrops.
Ironically, the 6 minutes of "Increasing Complexity", is altogether more simplistic, as electric piano melody flows over gentle synth rhythms and undulating backdrops to provide a restrained respite from the increasing intensity, this time a big loping electro-percussive synth rhythm taking center stage as the melody meanders, the rhythm unfolds and wheezing, puffing electronic rhythmic backgrounds supplement the main machine heart of the beast, all the while the melodic blood flowing through its veins and keeping it alive and vital.
"Caves" also focuses on the rhythmic side of things as the central theme unfolds before these subside to leave a sea of slow-motion keyboard chords that lull you before the impending darkness falls and the life of stuttering rhythmic complexity begins to form all around you. Two minutes of deep, dark industrial strength cosmic synths allied to industrial strength booming electro-percussive rhythms serves as a bridge between what has gone before and the magical 9 minutes of "Reflective" where string synths and soaring space synth swoops create something timeless and beautiful as the, now familiar, sound of a booming electronic beat, this time slowly, emerges and takes its place at the centre of its universe, the synth flow darkening, the melodic intensity deepening and the whole thing gathering strength and layers to take off to the skies like some giant spaceship of unknown origin and yet seemingly familiar design. The rhythms rev up like rocket motors and the resonant rumble of boinging bass synths adds to the electro-percussive beats as the stirring sound of string synths weaves the melodic web and all manner of eldctronic surrounds provide a pastoral presence to sit naturally against the blackness of the rhythmic mood.
The near 9 minutes of "Mindmists" is altogether more abstract and here the melody factor disappears into one giant musical black hole, out of which comes the echoes of distant melody that have been swallowed up by the darkness, th whole main figure gurgling, rumbling, lurching and sucking in every musical layer you care to throw at it, as, one after another, rhythms tumble freefall through space while the sound of distant mellotrons provides a backdrop for the juxtaposition of cosmic bliss and dark bleak space, the gravity wall eventually falling away to reveal uncharted regions of space through which you cruise with electric piano, mellotron, electro-percussive rhythmic rumbles, off-key electronic backdrops and space synth masses, all combine to create a wholly new musical universe that soon bursts into life and evolves into yet another spellbinding example of rhythm and texture.
Three tracks between 4 and 7 minutes complete the picture in similar vein to what has gone before and the epic journey is over, something that has transfixed you yet somehow has left a mark that is felt but not remembered, as you lay it to rest, knowing one day son, that it's a journey you will wish to undertake once more to see the altogether different musical sights that you might have missed first time round and to enjoy the shape of the universe in many and varied ways.

Adventurous originality combined with accessibility in electronics is summed up by this album.

2008. Andy Garibaldi / Dead Earnest To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before: These are the aims immediately associated by many with the Berlin school of electronics and its vintage synthesizers. It is an analogy which has been both beneficial and detrimental to artists from this field, who have either used the association to their advantage or tried in vain to circumvent it.
On "Obsessive Surrealism", Bakis Sirros has finally shed the notion altogether, freeing analog equipment from its supposed ties with the cosmos.

Which means that although Sirros still likens his output to Tangerine Dream, Jean-Michel Jarre or Klaus Schulze on his MySpace account, his music has a contemporary ring to it none of these icons will probably ever attain: "Obsessive Surrealism" eschews the hypnotic sequencer patterns typical of the genre, instead opting for brooding ambiances, placing tactile drum machine whispers underneath interwoven strands of chime cycles and quiet marimba motives. It is a highly personal style, which veils its influences underneath a cloak of minimalism, awarding each element a seminal role in the workings of a highly sophisticated organism.
Another substantial characteristic of the Parallel Worlds sound is its demonstrative preference of melody. While pulsating grooves push tracks stoically forward, it is the short, at first all but unnoticeable themes placed subtly on top, which provide for a sensual and irresistible pull. Duetting with rhythmic developments, like a single billowing and ebbing bass tone, they keep the mind engaged and relaxed at the same time, taking the listener gently and firmly by the hand.
While these factors promise instant satisfaction, the album also has its spikes and thorns. Sirros enjoys stop-and-go motion over minutes-long phases of mechanical repetition and regularly cuts off his tunes right at the moment when they seem to come to full fruition. There are no triumphant hymns to be found on "Obsessive Surrealism", no hits or obvious stand-out tracks.
Even the harmonic bliss of "Mindmists" and the more poignant subsequent "Pale Yellow Sky" are fully integrated into the record’s flow, refusing to erupt like a volcano against a blackened sky.
The reason seems simple. Sirros has spent a full years perfecting every little detail of this work and has no intent of sacrificing the impact of the album as a whole for the sake of a couple of hummable jingles.
"Obsessive Surrealism" is driven by its coherent mood, by its deep layers and diverse timbres and colors, by its subtle melodic archs and surprising emotional evolution. It is to be seen as a novel rather than a collection of short stories and as such, it does a remarkable job of keeping the tension simmering for its full duration of over an hour.

Sirros must certainly have felt the desire to make his love for the new generation of sound artists like Board of Canada or Autechre more apparent or to at least integrate tiny quotes from his various side projects into the mix (and maybe the industrial club connotations of "Distracted" can be regarded as such).
The fact that he has resisted this temptation in order to keep his vision tightly focused is an important one. It is this persistence, after all, which frees Berlin-school-inspired electronics and analog gear not only from the mandatory dictate of the cosmos, but also from the necessity of simply dissolving into what the public currently regards as "progressive", "innovative" or "up-to-date".
A promising foray into strange new worlds.

2008. Tobias Fischer / Tokafi Moody electronica with strong structures and deep atmospheric backdrops. Obsessive Surrealism delivers eleven melodic synthesizer tracks where low key beats or driving electro-grooves propel shadowy compositions with periodic hints of exposed Berlin roots. Rhythmic sequencer patterns work in tandem with programmed percussion to give most pieces a clearly measured pace, that said, the grooves often break down into fluttering interludes or textural ambient explorations.
Parallel Worlds makes abundant use of analog hardware to create a sound that harks back to the electronica of previous decades whilst set within a twenty first century context. The melodic content is understated, sometimes carried by drifting chord progressions; sometimes dimly lit phrases shot through with percolating, flickering sequences.
The range of synthetic sound here is broad, inventive and engrossing; the style also quite varied from track to track - yet the whole album is very coherent, establishing a well thought out sonic environment. There is a fairly consistent shadow hanging over most of this album - low light technology and mysterious spaciness combining into sinewy, ominous themes. The beats at their most strident produce an engine-like drive, a dramatic futuristic regularity, almost militaristic - but frequently these are allowed to break down or disperse into lighter rhythms or even into beatless expanse.

An abstract image that looks something like a photograph taken from a TV screen fills three panels of this package - thin horizontal bands of blue, red and green form dark geometric shapes - on the front a narrow white vertical strip holds the titles and the DiN catalogue numeral 26. On the reverse a broader strip of white holds track titles and their timings as well as informing listeners that this is a limited edition of 1000 copies only. Inside the two leaf booklet opens out to reveal a bank of sound gear illuminated by small rows of lights, meters and glowing digits. Facing this large image, the remaining inner panel is again white with black text in a simple font - a repeated track list, credits and thanks along with a gear list of 'selected equipment'.
Parallel Worlds is primarily the project of Greek musician Bakis Sirros, although collaborators occasionally lend their talents to the name. Here Obsessive Surrealism is appropriately presented via Ian Boddy's DiN label - the experimental, slightly ambient approach to pure electronica fitting nicely into the label's catalogue. Promotional material explains that "Parallel Worlds use mostly Hardware machines. Mainly huge Analogue Modular systems and Analogue Step Sequencers of the past and present combined with digital FM and virtual analog synths and sampling". This love of gear is evident in the soundscaping of the music - in addition to the emotive nature of the compositions themselves, there is a clear delight in sound sculpture and sonic layering - clearly a lot of time has gone into the production of this album. Bakis Sirros is also behind the new IDM/electronica project Interconnected with Ingo Zobel (of DRON, Signalform, Self Oscillate, Datasette) and the Ambient / experimental project called Memory Geist with Steve Law (of Zen Paradox, Starseed Transmission, Guild Of Fire, etc.).

Obsessive Surrealism will likely please DiN regulars as well as fans of evolving Berlin school electronica. Go for this one if you enjoy moody synthetics with clear beats and ambient cloudscapes.

Morpheus Parallel Worlds is de Griekse analoge synth fetishist Bakis Sirros, die met "Obsessive Surrealism" zijn vierde album uitbrengt.

Geen samples, geen vocals, geen belletjes of didgeridoos op dit album, gewoon ambiente synthklanken, soms mét, soms zonder beat. Dit rustig voortkabbelend cd’tje is mooie achtergrondmuziek, geschikt voor relaxatie en meditatie. Dromerig atmosferische klanktapijten van puur analoge electronische ritmes en sequences, combineren de sound van seventies elektronische muziek met moderne elektronica en ambient. Hoewel vrij donker, is dit toch eerder iets voor liefhebbers van Tomita, Klaus Schulze en Tangerine Dream, van kraut en ‘cosmic music’, dan voor hen die pas kicken op het echt duistere spul. Ook liefhebbers van een Tor Lundvall kan ik dit warm aanbevelen.

2008. Dark Entries muziek Magazine / Belgium This is the forth album of Parallel Worlds and I must say a real gem. The album gives a dreamy and dark feel with surprising smooth textures and intelligent use of sound. Parallel Worlds is clearly inspired by well known artists like Biosphere, Autechre and Boards Of Canada. Parallel Worlds is the main project of Bakis Sirros (with some occasional collaborators). It was originally founded in 1994, but only after 1998 they started to be a part of the active Greek electronic music scene.

The album starts with ´Beneath Fear´, a song with a dramatic and dark Goth sound. It´s a quite good starter of the album but certainly not the best.
The real highlights of the album are ´Increasing Complexity´, ´Pale Yellow Sky´ and ´Reflective´ which build up perfectly. Specially ´Reflective´ has some real intense drones featured which lift the song to a higher level.
´Into The Caves Of The Mind´ is a quite more ´nervous´ song considering the rest of the album, and is one of the lesser songs of the album.

The music on this album is relaxing ambient but disturbing at the same time, a real turn on for persons who love ambient with a slight dark touch.
Grade: 8.5

2008. Eva / Gothtronic webzine Parallel Worlds is Greek analogue synth fetishist Bakis Sirros, and on ‘Obsessive Surrealism’, his fourth full-length release, he shows the world that there’s still life in the old step-sequencer yet. Reminiscent of early John Carpenter or Japanese synthesizer legend (and usual charity shop find) Isao Tomita this is basically an exercise in retro synthwork and there’s nothing wrong with that in my book.

Cyclic reverberating percussion hisses and pops beneath waves of sequenced atmospheric sounds and what could so easily be merely a boring paean to times past is actually surprisingly intricate and very well produced indeed. Apparently Sirros is an expert in modular synthesizers, to the point where he is a point of contact for some modern synthesizer companies, and this expertise and familiarity with the instruments is what no doubt allows him to be able to create these epic expanses of synthesized sound. Occasionally we do drift into rather ‘ambient’ territory but when it’s good ‘Obsessive Surrealism’ gives Tangerine Dream a run for their money.

Krautrock fans and gear-hounds look closely, there is still music being made without an over-reliance on computer technology ­ shock horror!

2007. Boomkat The eleven electronic pieces that integrate this CD are each one a journey towards the unknown. All of them possess a decidedly mysterious, enigmatic character. The music is very original and varied, without having to make use of experimentation with sounds. The style, bold and avantgarde as it is, is situated on the border between Dark Ambient and the most aggresive areas of Techno.
Almost all the themes are rhythmic, even though not quite fast. The melody is ever present in all the music. There are remarkable and varied sonic textures.

Alejandro Hinojosa "Beneath fear":
It has a beautiful mysterious atmosphere evoked by the bubbling and slithering of sounds. Very nice contrast of dark layers and lighter floating melodies and esoteric choir. It also shows a row of rhythmic peaks, which lift it even more, before it sinks back in an undulating morass of fascinating electronic bubbles and audio slithers.

"Different Pathways":
Very strong piece. Starting with dark, haunting layers which glide over a bed of sizzles and other pre-mordial sounds out of which a electronic rhythm slips, on which on top several shade-friendly melodic progressions crawl.

"Empty Human Cells":
This piece is a haven for subtle experimental electronic percussion almost Frohmader-esque, an erector of exotic melodies Japan (the group)-like and keeper of the most undescribable watery noises and sounds.

"Increasing Complexity":
One could swear to hear the hand of Ian Boddy on the electronic percussion. The whole piece drives on a hazy, short melody upon which undercurrent other melodies and invigorating percussion walk.

"Into the caves of the mind":
Sirros paints with reflective sounds the insight of his own mind. Percussive slabs shoot like electric pulses through these spaces.

"Interlude":
The beginning of this track could almost have been the opening music to the dark Tangerine Dream soundtrack The Keep. The same approaching stamp of deep reverberated percussion and accompanied by distant thundering roar and strange, camouflaged melodies.

"Reflective":
Although the ghost of Depeche Mode hovers above all tracks, it's nowhere so evident as on this track. Fabulous bass stamping, though with a shy character in the end, also the revolving dark talking of sound, occasionally erecting glow and a dark-warm blanket of melody overlaying it without touching. Slight critism: maybe it's a bit too long.

"Mindmists":
Tomita-Moogish big ominous sounds rise like prehistoric monsters, along the way choir and mid-tempo rhythm lead it to an intermezzo of which rustic character leads it's to a fade ending.

"Pale Yellow Sky":
Listening too this piece, is like walking through a modern city, destination unknown.

"Distracted":
Piercing, metallic noises introduce an tempting drum and sequence rhythm with processed wah-wah effect-melody which all disappears in a eerie echoing drum-surrealism. I would call this up tempo piece classic Parallel Worlds.

"Crying spells":
The closer retakes the eerie echoing drum-surrealism for the final secret.

So, I think it's Parallel Worlds' best album to date! Some great sounds they made, sometimes reminding of Japan (the group), sometimes even reminding of the great Isao Tomita!

2007. Roel Steverink / The Netherlands Parallel Worlds is in fact Greek electronic musician Bakis Sirros. Bakis has been involved in the EM scene since the late 90s in Greece, and this release should up his worldwide profile significantly.

His use of sequencer is unique, and mixed with his penchant for dark impressionist melodies the combination of melody and motion is stunning. Tempos change, mood shifts and your head will trip out as you listen. Wow!

Archie Patterson