Fluid Radio: [Thy-011].

July 8, 2010

“Occasionally I forget to Breathe” is a self-released mini-album from Seasons (pre-din). Not having heard his album on Type I was interested to see what this artist had in store…

The first track opens with a slowly building glistening chord augmented with bird song. Imperceptibly this is encroached on by a two note string refrain which builds in presence before itself being consumed by the throbbing drone of the opening chord and gradually overwhelmed by waves of radio chatter and static. This opener is simple but effective in creating an absorbing atmosphere for the listener, building pleasant expectation for what might follow.

However, on departing from this opening track, a very different mood becomes the driving force for the rest of the album. Whereas the opener introduced a light, shimmering and almost hopeful, musical vision, the subsequent tracks abruptly plunge the listener into a cavernous and desolate sound world. Music, in the traditional sense, is sucked down into a black hole leaving only a husk of melody apparent in deep bass frequencies adrift amongst phantom atmospheres conjured out of relentless gales of wind and abrasive hissing assaults on the listener. Amidst the oppressive mood one can make out hints of something happening at the limits of perception – suggestions of notes and field recordings -the faintest of sonic mirages that are so barely present that one might not trust your own perception that they were actually there at all. This is a strange musical experience – the listener is always searching for an anchoring point, a small piece of solidity amongst a shifting ocean of debris.

Finally, from out of the baleful morass of tones of the fourth track, music appears again for the final piece on the album. Like a ship emerging from a thick fog, a two note refrain echoes that heard in the first piece, though here it is changed. Gone are the hopeful timbres of the notes of track one – here there is an altogether more ominous pitch, as if the notes had themselves journeyed through horrors unthinkable and were mere shells of their former selves. The album closes by crumbling into white noise and lost radio signals.

In sum, this is not a pleasant musical landscape for the listener – barren, unforgiving and disconsolate; it is music of abject hopelessness and surrender. This is, of course, not to say that there is nothing to be gained from listening to it – in fact the journey can be strangely rewarding, like witnessing torture or war and emerging changed by the experience…just don’t expect the change to be positive…

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