CD, Persepolis Records, 2009
It’s hard indeed to describe, or review, what would be termed ‘dark ambient’ in its purest form such as this. It ebbs, it ebbs some more, and doesn’t really flow anywhere except at a glacial pace. It starts out inaudibly, takes nearly two minutes to be heard… But then, when you have forty-one minutes for the single track, why rush things?
Indeed, it takes over fifteen minutes for things to evolve (hell, that’s the kind of time this track has to work with) into more than just calm drones. The drones begin to ripple like a breeze blowing across a lake, and wordless, vocal chanting finally provides some relief from a boredom that was rapidly setting in. And then, the darkness sets over it, somehow as the chants end, and other noises come in, it enters the realms of the pitch black, and really sounds rather unsettling.
The darkness doesn’t last too long, though, and soon the chants return, before they are gradually faded out and replaced by a stately piano melody – just over half an hour in, and this is the first hint of anything resembling a tune. Which is frustrating, as this is by far the best part of what is, by this point, somewhere between trying my patience and simply vanishing into the background. And, indeed, before you know it, it’s back where we started, with a minute of silence.
While this is elegantly put together, and stands well as a work of audio sculpture, it’s difficult to say much more about it other than nod my head and admire it. But then, like all art – lest we forget that music is an artform in its purest sense – some will love it, some will hate it, and some will be left in the middle. I’m one of the latter, in this case.
— Adam Williams