"Consummately executed - considered, grown-up, sincere - ritual electronics from a London-based child of Thule, Zaheer Gulamhusein - inspired by "The Crooked Path, Lycia, Osiris, Sekhmet, Oblivion, Shunga, Paranoia." For years Gulamhusein has been passing private CD-Rs of his recordings - all heavily informed by his study of Western esoteric spirituality - to friends and acquaintances, but this LP is on another plain, really. It combines a Coil-esque decadent, world-weary disinterment of the city’s occluded/interdimensional energies with a refreshingly direct and wide-eyed line of psychedelic inquiry. In the end, Beyond Illuminism sounds like nothing but itself, but it’s obviously aligned with the grandest sidereal tradition: ‘Temperance’ is our dreamweapon of choice, an accumulation of bowed and scraped tones that sigh and sway like Spacemen 3 in full flight (cf. Cale and Conrad), while ‘Quasi-Hypnotic’ combines the planet-curdling, arpeggiated fizz of Pulse Emitter or recent Ashtray Navigations with the opaque, quasi-gothic intensity of noir-est Detroit techno. Throughout all this Xvarr, like Ashtrays, Astral Social Club, even TG and Legendary Pink Dots, yolks together a quintessential UK underground/industrial severity with a sensuous, tactile drone-logic and thirst for ecstatic auto-annihilation that transcends place and feels as old and unarguable as time itself. But there are moments too of a more acute and earth-bound romanticism that caught us off guard: ‘Gemini Tree’ in particular is a beautiful piece of piano-led pastoral ambience that sounds like Plinth relocated from the Dorset countryside to the steps of Elephant & Castle shopping centre at first light. An amazing record, all the more powerful and remarkable for its purism and total indifference to current trends (whatever the fuck THOSE are). "