Fri 5th December 2014
Drone is a difficult sphere to enter these days, how do you stand out in a field that occupies such narrow genre constraints?
Whether it's the pastoral wanderings of Barn Owl or the amplifier-testing experimentation of Sunn0))), the fact remains that stretching out textures and singular notes is a challenge to be original.
Northumbria, a duo made up of Jim Field and Dorian Williamson on guitar and bass respectively, hover around the bleaker reaches of the genre. With their delicate, light sounds never sounding menacing, it creeps slowly across your consciousness almost not even asking to enter, but happy to stay on the peripheries.
There's also a glint that shines through of that natural, uncurling cycle of daybreak and sunset. The gentle washes of The Silver Forest for example bring forth comparisons to the gentle post rock of Explosions In The Sky. Those lucid, very real moments where you are struck down by in life that make you realise you're an insignificant dot in the grand scheme of things.
Even when they knock up the distortion like on the fuzzed and burnt-sounding title track that closes this release, that sense of temporal realisation never leaves, and it's beautiful. With all its subtleties and clever, microscopic changes seeming massive, this is a piece of work that while not demanding attention initially, may take over any situation you choose to play it in. Strangely brilliant.