After winning over both fans and critics in 2022 with the immaculate Folds of Time, Louis Siciliano returns this winter with his most evocative work to date in Ancient Cosmic Truth, a four-song extended play that rewards his fans with an unfanciful look at his beguiling style of jazz and world music unlike any other he has shared with us in his career so far. Ancient Cosmic Truth is all about its heavenly harmonies and erratic disposition, the best of which is spread out across each composition that we hear in this rather short and simple treat, and while Siciliano has never recorded anything that one could deem as filler, this is a particularly efficient and lean EP that is all might and no blight without question.
“Bambara’s Symmetries” is probably the most elaborate song on the record, but it’s ironically also the shortest, coming in at a mere 3:17 total. Siciliano’s melodic approach is velvety-soft and airy, juxtaposed with a rigid rhythm propelled forward by a dissonant backdrop formed by his supporting cast. A little taste of surreal string work peppers the beat with a tension that makes the climax all the more rousing, and it’s only through this ultra-clean master mix that we’re able to appreciate all of these intricacies for the tiny treasures that they inarguably are.
In songs like “Translucent Dodecahedron” and the tenacious title track that closes the record, Louis Siciliano seemingly goes out of his way to wear his heart on his sleeve in the arrangement he sets up for everyone in this band. There’s a seamlessness to his bond with the background melody, but it’s never cluttered in the grander scheme of things (another spot where this mix shines), and songs like the complex “The Secret of Mansa” provide him a lot of additional space to flex his compositional muscles without stealing all of the thunder away from the other players. He’s got excellent energy in these tracks and rightfully sounds swaggering from start to finish.
The only real problem that I’ve got with Ancient Cosmic Truth is that it’s rather short and feels like more of a teaser for an LP than it does even a proper EP. It’s easy to listen to this disc on repeat for no other reason than to drink in the chemistry of this band led by Siciliano for only a few minutes longer, which is enough for me to say that it’s time for him to get into the studio and produce another masterwork in the form of an album.
I had a lot of expectations coming into this extended play, having fallen in love with Louis Siciliano’s work a while ago, but Ancient Cosmic Truth blows me away every time I give it a listen. Captivating, concise, and colorfully melodic without inviting any sort of external influences into the mix, this EP is as close to perfection as the aforementioned artist has gotten since first arriving on the scene, and judging from its content I don’t think it will be the last sensational record he releases.