Dark Music Review - Creator, You Destroy Me
Written By Casey Douglass
Over the weekend I finally had some time and mental focus to listen to self-taught musician Miguel Gomes’ newest album Creator, You Destroy Me. Going under the pseudonym of Be My Friend in Exile, Miguel makes ethereal ambient drone music that makes use of amplifier distortion and drones of varying strengths to create a mood and effect. On to the tracks:
Archon of the Demiurge
A dark area opens up, filled with distortion and guitar strings viciously plucked, their clanging merging with a background drone. It conjured images to mind of hurtling down an abandoned subway line, the loud noises the well-lit stations, the drone the pure inky blackness of the tunnels proper.
Ultima Linea Rerum
This track starts with the same rhythm as the previous one, but things are lighter and higher. If track one was plunging into the bowels of the tube system, this part is in the open air, maybe fog laden section, cracked and desolate buildings looking down like giant tombstones.
A faint tinkling mechanical whine underpins a light drone with a gently plucked string melody behind it all. A softer track that might create images of being alone in thick fog with only the milky impression of a distant city’s lights ahead of you.
Control Heartbeat Delete
A clever track that use looping sounds to create a feeling of motion and ‘stuckness’ at the same time. Light drones dance around the main sounds, airy and bursting with energy. It all gets higher and higher, like someones spirit leaving their body and passing up, up through the ceiling and away.
Memories of Childhood, Feelings for the Future
This track starts with some recognisable ambient sounds: distant church-bells, footsteps and birdsong, conjuring images of sunny afternoons bathed in golden light in a city park. Plucked guitar strings join vocal phrases that sound like they are from a PA system. The music is lulling and relaxing, yet the bassy plunges and voice effects hint at something not quite right. It builds into a strong bass rhythm and the pace increases. More sounds of voices and children playing emerge along with traffic and church-bells. Guitar reverberates, jarring the listener amongst knocking echoes and distortion before mellowing a little and becoming clearer once more. A tone that sounds like a church organ toys with the ear before a steady drone begins to grow. A catchy guitar rhythm sounds before things go quiet with just bass notes and tinkling left. This track conjures to mind the possible experience of a happy child playing in the sunlight before stumbling across the view to the churchyard beyond, catching sight and mind of their first real thoughts of death and what lays before them.
A gentle track that sounds like cymbals or a gong being gently hit, with a drone along for the ride. Guitar strings echo and clang as everything builds into another “high” track that elevates rather than pushes you down. High-pitched sounds floating in a sea of reverb.
Floating Weightless Back to the Surface, I Imagine Becoming Someone Else
A swelling noise that sounds like a swarm of purple (why purple?) bees filling the air with industry and vibration. Maybe the neurons firing in a brain, a crisis point reached and breached with grit and fury. A harsher drone meets it before strings of guitar battle against the points of motion, a manifestation of desire in distortion.
Distortion and a bass drone plucks at the ear as a swelling undulation pushes through everything, like a face emerging in the static of a detuned TV screen. It quietens to a distorted rhythm and quiet guitar.
I am quite a fan of the guitar/string led side of the dark ambient genre. Any track using amplifier distortion and plucked melodies seems to grab my attention far more than some of the more subtle dark ambient tracks which rely more on ambient noise samples. In Creator, You Destroy Me, Miguel has created an album that is full of tracks that share a sound but all sound suitably different. I must admit that my favourite track by far was Memories of Childhood, Feelings for the Future. Ironically, it featured the most recognisable ambient sounds but I just felt it was a great multi-layered track that was both peaceful and sinister at the same time.
I give Creator, You Destroy Me 4/5, a riveting listening experience but also something that gives your mind free-reign to infer what it wants from the sounds you are hearing.
You can visit Be My Friend in Exile’s Bandcamp page here.
I was given a free copy of the album to review.
Album Title: Creator, You Destroy Me
Artist: Be My Friend In Exile, Additional keys, synths and samples on Track 5 by Tomas Amoretti
Label: Already Dead Tapes & Records
Released: 20th January 2015