Sleep In Perpetual Storm
TBR: 8th February
As Disintegration State warms up for a series of fantastic live shows around the Manchester area, label co-founder Lowering puts Sleep In Perpetual Storm into action. Following on from last summer's EDM masterpiece Collapsule, Lowering furnishes more sonic corridors of dramatic drone with atmospheric and philosophical movements. The artist brought ideas into waves with this album, tackling the big questions about climate change and late-night bombing raids over built up areas. Wondering how anyone could be content or find inner peace with all this going on is what brought this album into being, suburban bliss and listening to this, maybe that's how. Never mind the mirror, reflecting on these topics is almost an obligation for us all. What will we do though? How will our own choices be part of the long walk to utopia? Or are we doomed already so may as well sit back and go to all the parties? Balance is paramount to a happy life, so let's try and do it all.
Organic horn and wind instrument sounds peel away at the quiet, revealing veins of increasingly wholesome flavour. Notes from similar places in the scale twine together and in an array of like colours, the matching sets of sound grow to become glistening lamps on stretching vines. Sprawling out in ribbons of composition, vocal like additions greet the medley of mindfulness to form new directions of music which ultimately lead to the same ending. Just A Fever uses a sound of the ocean to bring about that sense of tidal flow we can sometimes feel in our emotional body. Ambience drifts along the crawling currents, and it closes down gracefully to piano keys. Perpetual Storm carries a new found sense of melody which is cast into being by magical piano strokes and twisting sonics on the keyboard. Static builds underneath which warms up the meandering tempest. Chord strikes hammer in rounded and sliding notes that fill up large spaces in the mix. As the progression evolves, a chorus of voices drain out all semblances of the previous fabric, leaving a massive wake of swallowing sound.
Tonal strings soar over windy meadows, dappled with colourful flowers as Derecho spans out before us. As the swooping melody carries us over field after field, a rich river of sound crafts its snaking journey through the hills. Dark and unforgiving waters surge far below us, and a tranquil space of clear atmosphere hangs gently between us and the dramatic natural landscapes. Additions of tonality creep in from newly found corners of sonic space, breathy and broken notes collide like globules within viscous liquid. And then, Distant Cities Burn. Indeed they do, is there ever a good reason to destroy a city? We tend to opt for smart devices these days, which only destroy military targets. Maybe it's a sign of days to come, the world would be a lot different if the pacifists got their way in September 1939. But was the destruction of Berlin and other cities necessary to stop Nazism? Did we stop Nazism? Some of the comments made about benefit claimants by a recent British Chancellor could have been written by Joseph Goebbels himself. Blaming the vulnerable for the errors of the elite? Is that how we do things here?
Drukkna gradually releases the pressure over the first few bars. Amplitudes increase as sonic wails and hums join in with ever evolving journeys of sound. A shrill addition pierces, puncturing the ambience with a disjointed yet open handed entrance. At peace with the oddity, allowing it to settle in with the less energetic musicality behind it, soon the central balance shifts and brings everything into its rightful perspective. This Icelandic verb, to drown, shows us that if we're not willing to let go and rise above, we can in fact become submerged by the climbing tide. As the forest of kelp swirls in hypnotic motions before our fading eyes, the sound of bubbles and lapping waves alerts us to the surface. Sullen piano, drably muffled to bring out a gloomy and day-dream quality to its colour, spells out a slow and wandering melody. A series of notes repeat while a dancing overlay gently traces out every corner of the available space. Uncivilisation asks what happens when societies crumble under their own weight. When nothing but the stories remain, what then? An introspective and mindful piece that breaks form by showing a compositional quality less clear in the drone work, track six marks the half way section in this long play record.
What Are The Odds starts with a selection of tones, emitting a heavenly chord. Swirling and dynamic notes join in, giving a wobbling and diffractive sense to the sound. Digital horns with left to right pushes on the effects bring out a heavy and sunlit glare from the ceiling which washes over us. Background noises crackle and tap like miniature clockwork among free-running marbles. Slow moving and epicesque tones wade through a fluffy interior and reach some shining distant shore. Next, a new melody on delicate notes pulls open another curtain on the other side of the room. As the light breaks through the growing opening in the fabric, rays of illumination draw our attention to a whole new perspective on our surroundings. Incunabula, being a previous generation of the paperback, draws our mind to archaic beliefs and natural lore which framed our everyday choices. Which of these are forgotten jewels and which are tethering superstitions? How does the knowledge of the ancients translate into modern terms? Now we know more than they did back then, can we revisit some of the lesser known axioms for further study? When books were much more expensive to produce, only the select few were able to leave their thoughts for others to digest.
Parched takes us to a dry and arid landscape, open and windswept layerings of naked rock jag like crooked teeth while beams of condensed light crash into the heat drenched surface. We stand in the shade, but only just, where droplets of water trickle over smoothed facias of bedrock. Here, in our space, the immense and overpowering outside sings with ferocious temperature and waterless gravity. Beautiful veins of fire tempered rock, metamorphic and weathered, stretch away from us in handrails of motion while above our heads, the angle of the sun moves slowly across the tangents of our shelter. What follows is another piano melody. It carries a distortion as emotional baggage, and an umbrella at an angle prevents too many eyes looking in. Gone is short, a notion in a direction and nothing more. Ending with In Our Time, the album takes its time to complete the dream with this fifteen minute walk. Making up for lost time in the shorter previous number, this time long avenues of cloud stretch out of view as we gently walk on the water vapour.
Sleep In Perpetual Storm by Lowering is available on Bandcamp.
You can Follow Lowering on Soundcloud
Also, you may be interested in reading: Ambient Century: From Mahler to Moby - The Evolution of Sound in the Electronic Ageby Mark Prendergast
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
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