Friday, 29 July 2011
Title: Ancient Space
Format: Cassette tape release on Depressive Illusions Records (Ukraine) in 2011, cat ref cut132. Glossy colour inlay, and a split release with Brazilian band Arvorar.
Edition: 100 hand-numbered copies
01. Transitoriedade 7.51
Saturn Form Essence
02. Ancient Space 5.31
A quick post today to discuss a short - but nonetheless excellent - release on the prolific Depressive Illusions label. This tape features our old favourites SFE (as ever, piloted by the enigmatic S.) and a new band for me: Arvorar from Brazil.
The limited information I have on this latter band (mostly gleaned from their MySpace site) shows that they are most typically described as a 'dark ambient' formation. That description - broad brush as it is - serves to give sufficient information to identify a likely style of song on this release. And indeed, some Vinterriket-esque opening synthesised sequences pave the way to a really fine song, crafted over a background noise of crashing waves and sounds of the ocean, and with an interesting mixture of up-tempo percussion and some nifty keyboard riffs. The end of the song, swathed in silence with that gentle sound of crashing waves, is a very enjoyable experience.
I think it fair to say that the most appropriate complement I can give Arvorar is that I've thoroughly enjoyed their song on this release and will now actively seek out other recordings of theirs.
The SFE song 'Ancient Space' is very short by the usual standards of the band, but lacks nothing in quality or enjoyability for all that. Rather than draw out the track with epic expanses of near-silence or a recreation of the vacuum of space, there is quite a lot going on with its five and a half minute duration for the listener to get a handle on. Interesting wind effects and enigmatic keyboard impulses start proceedings off well, and a moody sense of foreboding and mystery slowly envelops you as the song progresses.
The cover artwork on this tape is rather excellent too, as I hope the photographs at the top of this post will illustrate.
For two bands on either side of the globe to collaborate this successfully is an excellent achievement: whilst both stare out into the abyss looking through very different night skies based on their hemispheres of origin, the unmistakable kinship of ambient art unites them together in a triumphant release.