Thu 30th August 2012
Unrecognizable Now remind me of Belong, with the fuzz shorn off perhaps, the distortion cut out. The opening track is an ephemeral drift of drones with occasional strings, pulses of soft noise shifting beneath the surface. Tracks are seamless, blending into one another, built around one long, continuous, languid expression of formless tone.
This is vigil music, sounds-to-do-other-things-by, the kind of audio you have at the edge of hearing whilst you daydream or write, commit yourself to some line between earthly and unearthly pleasures. Floating in thought.
There is no traction here for any meaningful analysis. Unless total, absolute obsession is accorded in your listening experience for this sort of sound - wherein perhaps you attend to the noises produced at ear-blistering volume to discern the minutiae an artist indulges in - then all one can do is ascribe a hand-waving gesture of appreciation or dismissal to individual works of this nature. Consider my hands to be moving in a positive sort of way, a leisurely thumbs-up if you will.
These are pleasant sounds, a worthy use of reverb, acoustic instruments purring and murmuring between washes of soothing transients. Nothing offends or abrades. This is ur-sound, again something to keep the ears busy whilst the mind dwells on other things. I could very much see time spent in this sound well, pen and paper in hand, bringing words and images out of the recesses of memory storage.
Come the latter half of the release, if you discount the digital-exclusive remixes, the acoustic instruments come more to the fore. More accurately, perhaps indicative of the title Two Rooms, the noise bed drops to reveal ambiguous instrumentation that sounds as if it is coming from another room, echoing through a doorway or hallway, some distance between the listening position and where the sounds are being produced. The instruments are non-descript in their distance, something that could be a harp or guitar, perhaps a piano; pulsing circular progressions, hypnotic rounds.
They fade into the click and hiss of a loose cable connection, mains hum ticking on and off, a wash of noise riding in on the closing piece, the tones and drones returning, hints of guitar shimmering in the fuzz and chamber resonance.
The remixes layer digital effects, increasingly pushing the sound to a more overtly artificial form, plunging fragments through filters and contortions. They remain mostly consistent with the rest of the music, progressing only gently away, verging into almost-rhythms before returning to the familiar soundscapes. The whole of Two Rooms is mesmerising. If you like your sounds uncertain and trance-inducing then you could do worse than listen to this release.