TBR: 22nd February
Glasgow based Bricolage is home to the secretive and mysterious character that is No Arrival. With his second album offering on this label, backed up with appearances on several various artist releases, No Arrival remains true to form and works on delicious brokenness and digital distortions of all flavours. By capturing the sense of atmosphere in his use of wandering percussion, dressed in abstract sounds and progression, this new release from No Arrival explores further and deeper for our listening pleasure. By priding themselves on being “Under The Underground” the Bricolage label is a perfect home for this talented yet reticent originator.
The album begins with a track called New U. Melodic percussion with bells and snare-drum begin the piece on a calm and steady pace. This breaks down into digital noises like machines undergoing complicated procedures. The beat starts up again, this time with an infusion of high velocity stabs like sparks flying from a naked wire. Exciting and mysterious, the abstraction of sound merges with the repeating rhythm to provide a structured jungle of naturally disjointed sounds. Bass tones creep in from carpeted hallways and, with staring eyes, shoots soft daggers around the tightly knit room. Underground sounds for intelligent dancers, it sets a fantastic and subculturally relevant scene.
The next track starts with a windy soundscape, strange noises resonate through the pillars of darkness before a twinkling sound like distant shards of sunlight gathers momentum in the dust. A melody pushes through like a playful anticipation which begins to become overwhelmed by the immensity of the space laid out before us. A tapping drum throws a new energy into the room, and it brings with it a layered rhythm of cymbal taps and wooden blocks. Vibrating patterns and shimmering sounds combine in a distantly reaching but close enough to touch labyrinth of sonics. Carried perhaps wants to pick us up and run us around this artistic and dreamy landscape. Vocals fly from one side to another in a wave of flashing sound, then greeted by the howling of the wind, the flow of air sinks all else into silence.
Group Flow has a catching rhythm that hits us straight away. It progresses with extra percussives which become part of a melody, swinging in a style not far away from the tropical. A summertime element to the clamour of happy bells merges with a spongy texture of interesting drums and quick paced cymbals that radiate like an overbearing sun. Everything seems so tranquil and glamorous, then a synthesiser falls into place with a beautiful hum of blanketing sound. Odd notes drape over the otherwise harmonious patterns, bringing out rocky enclaves for thoughtful musing. Stable rhythms keep everything placed in perfect timing, and with surges of intention from drums and melodic bells that arrive like wild animals, the natural bounty is revealed.
Next is an ambient introduction, waving phonics and sonics coalesce in a growing mulch of sound. New beats are laid down to bring a groove along with the calming composition. Organic bass journeys tread across fields of frosty grass while boulders left from long passed glaciers stand rigid as reminders of forgotten times. Snaking melody with glistening radiance shines and reflects from the gently moving music, sensations of oriental and tribal thought play in the dappled light of the progression. As a further dose of resonance washes over, sustaining the notes and beats into a sheet of distorted sound, a protruding melody on airy synthesiser pads breaks free and becomes a platform for a new rhythm. Quick and frantic minimal bursts of rim tap frame a deep and chasmous bass spiral in slow moving steps into beyond. Play is a gloomy and thoughtful wallow in sub sonics and distortions of humanity.
It's followed by Ama. Another fun and resonant bass plucks a tuneful rhythm over some relaxing beats. Digital notations play blips over the top in a joyous and brisk expression of mood. The layerings of sound work like a sandwich, every fresh ingredient positioned in its rightful place in sequence of amplitude, space, and temperature. Robotic voices are inserted, repeating phrases which create a sense of communication, even if there are no audible words. New sounds and vocal samples add ever changing colours of direction to the sound. Steady rhythm ensures the piece stays compatible with the logical side of the mind while ever shifting sands of emotion and projected musical intent swirl before us.
The final number closes the dream with impressionist loops and sonic directions which quickly swell and bloom into massive drums. A fast and energetic beat pounds down while moving synthesiser and wavering bass surge onwards. Creating a chaotic yet harmonious synthesis of sound together for one final push into the sky, Universal Echo captures a high of the night, formed by people and music together. It's a great place to end the album, and it invites us to start it from the beginning. By the time we get to this point, it's hard to recount the entire journey.
You can get in touch with Bricolage Records on Facebook
You can also visit their website.
Subvert Yourself by No Arrival is available to pre-order/buy from Bandcamp
Also, follow No Arrival on Soundcloud.
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Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
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