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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

North Atlantic Drift - Monuments

[Click on image for official North Atlantic Drift website]
Country - Canada
Composers - Brad Deschamps & Mike Abercrombie
Released - March 2013

- Tracklist -
1. Passing Time
2. Monuments
3. Concrete Oceans
4. Sandlab
5. I Have Never Seen the Light
6. Scholars of Time Travel (part II)
7. Sun Dial

- Review -
North Atlantic Drift...
Rightly named after a large ocean current, this project simply takes you away. It completely submerses you in it's Northaunt-esque atmosphere. But unlike Northaunt, it's a heavier balance of defined beat and seamless soundscapes. Songs like Concrete Oceans and Scholars of Time Travel (part II) give the listeners a ambient/electric cafe-noir sound (as I like to describe it) in sections, which I've come to adore, especially in Concrete Oceans. The full on ambient sections such as Passing Time and the ominous Sandlab work especially well as breaking points for the album, like a 'calm down' between more involved songs, and as I said before, remind me of much of Northaunt.

The great thing about this subtle mix of music, is that it flows on in a perceivable way, once listening to the beat/soundscape structure of the first few songs, it sticks in your head, you can feel it, even through the complete ambient sections of the album, and it really helps give, basically an invisible, affect on the rest of the album. I'm not even close to calling any of these songs 'infectious' because it still sits deep within the ambient genre, but the extra beat involved in the music has certainly given it an unforgettable experience.

I don't usually single out certain songs when I write reviews, but I think for this album in particular, it certainly helps. and if you're wondering which song is my favorite, it's has to be Concrete Oceans, but alas this is an enjoyable album as a whole.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Black Polygons - Accalmie

[Click on image for official Black Polygons website]
Country - France
Composer - Cyril Rampal
Released - February 2013

- Tracklist -
1. In the Dead of Night
2. Whisper
3. Black Room
4. Amer
5. Ghost
6. Velvet
7. Accalmie
8. Burnt
9. Aphorisme
10. Ectoplasme
11. Brume
12. Denouement

- Review -
Black Polygons were once described as having some inspiration from Nine Inch Nails...
Whilst the industrial influence is definitely incorporated, never does Black Polygons sound as synthetic as NIN. No, this French electronica/ambient outfit seems much more similar to the likes of Desiderii Marginis and Polish projects like Virlyn and Bojanek. It's not complete seamless ambience, more of an ambient base, with a slow electronica influenced beat layered on top.

And it's dark... it does indeed have the grittiness that industrial genres supply. And it's deep as well, not only from a perceived atmospheric point of view, Electronica is often bass heavy, and the implementation of this in the music has given it a gut-twisting, low-end frequency. Black Polygons could easily fit within a full Dark Ambient playlist.