Wednesday 4 February 2015

Dark Music Review – Different Streams

Dark Music Review – Different Streams

Written By Casey Douglass


Different Streams Album Cover
Different Streams is a collaboration between international ambient artists EUS, Postdrome & Saåad. The music was recorded in a variety of locations: London, Costa Rica, Malaysia, China, Singapore and France, between February and June 2014. It has an electric string based sound which is quite novel from my own dark ambient listening experiences.

The Tracks

Dervish Dealer
Electric strings start the track off as other background noises and tones fade in, before they all boil in a pot of one single strong tone, resonating and reverberating with each other. Imagine a massive enclosed stone space and this track might be how things would sound if someone took an amp in there and turned it up to 11. It softens towards the end, becoming a deep rhythm that melds well with the next track.

Bitter Truth
This track thrums into life on the back of prolonged drones, beats and distortion, the sound becoming deeper and more “fleshed out” as the track progresses. The mental image I enjoyed whilst listening was someone sitting at a desk writing, possibly myself, a colossal tidal wave rising up above me in slow-motion, getting higher and higher, the sunlight catching the surface and sending hot electric squiggles of light through the spray. I guess I saw it as a metaphor for the death that will find each of us one day but that we never truly see coming until it arrives. I really liked Bitter Truth for giving me this image.

A quiet hum and distant echoes begin this track, the distorted sounds of a radio whispering in darkness as other tones and beeps mingle to create an empty space, yet one that holds pent-up aggression. This arrives with the first strong tone and an almost whistling noise proceeding it. This is not a happy place, and not somewhere you would feel safe to wait. Voices emerge later into the track, adding a whole other ghostly aspect to things.

The Only Path
Strong strings start this track before being joined by a deeper drone, two different rhythms mingling to create a fascinating whirl of sound. What sounds like supersonic jets shooting past fizz from ear to ear as the music increases in intensity. The title of the track mentions a path; my impressions are more of a journey coming to an end, or failing where the traveler falls. The latter part of the track fades to a more mellow piano noted ending as things still shoot over head.

An insect-like creaking intro moves on to a piano backed mix of eerie vocals and chittering things with strings. It brought to mind a strange battlefield covered with unusual bodies, armoured, fantastical, and all as dead as each other, snow beginning to dust each one as the battle vanishes over a nearby mountaintop. Sad and mournful. I enjoyed the mix of the high backing and harsh primary sounds.

Section 16
Nature sounds meet a repeating beat that draws the listener deeper into the track. It conjured for me the image of an abandoned building in the countryside, the failing light of evening helping to show up the flashes of strange works coming from the shattered windows. Vocals join with a low tone that sounds a lot like a horn that might be blown as the gates of hell prepare themselves to open. Bizarre shadows flit over the walls, drawn to the dancing lights still obscured by the structure. A deep rumble begins to shake the ground, the world holds its breath. All falls silent as an airy drone winds down.

I enjoyed listening to Different Streams. As I stated in the intro above, the string-based sounds work well with other staples of the dark ambient genre, somehow adding a lightness and a darkness to the general sound at the same time.

I give Different Streams 4.5/5 and I hope EUS, Postdrome & Saåad will get together again in the future and produce another collaboration like this one.

Visit Different Streams on Bandcamp here or visit Grains of Sand Records here.

I was given a free copy of the album to review.

Album Title: Different Streams
Artist: EUS, Postdrome & Saåad
Additional Violin on Dervish Dealer: Nik Koniwzski,
Label: Soft Records and Grains of Sand
Mixed and Mastered by: Byron Christodoulou
Album Art: Charlie Floyd
Layout and Design: Romain Barbot
Released : 23rd February 2015