Friday 26 February 2016

Dark Music Review – Neuroplasticity

Dark Music Review – Neuroplasticity

Review Written By Casey Douglass

Neuroplasticity CD Art

Dronny Darko's second solo full length album on Cryo Chamber is an introverted journey through the psyche of the listener. From primal and space ambient sounding drones, to something constructed in a laboratory, this album is a mix of drones both deep and detailed with tiny sounds for those that pay attention.

Neuroplasticity is a great title for an album that revels in the internal, the brain-themed labels extending into some of the track titles too. It’s a term I am well familiar with in relation to trying to treat and live with my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as it comes up in various ways to give the sufferer hope and evidence that an over-busy or misfiring brain can heal itself and actually change structure as behaviour changes. So once again, a very cool title in my opinion.

As far as the sounds contained within Neuroplasticity, I would describe it as an album that features a good deal of staticy crackly electro fuzz that certainly might be what synapses firing and making connections could sound like. The first track, Mirror Neurons, begins with a lovely, seemingly random collection of wooden notes, like wooden balls bouncing around, which again, buys into the whole brain-connections theme nicely.

I have listened to the album a number of times, and while I appreciate what it is doing, I think it missed the mark with me a little. I tried to analyse why this might be the case but all I came up with is maybe personal taste, and possibly state of mind while listening. There were a couple of tracks that I liked more than the others however.

The first was Electrical Membrane, a track that begins with distorted notes twisting and stuttering in and out, before being joined by an undulating drone that masks electronic sounds with hints of voices, like robots malfunctioning or de-tuned receiving equipment. The whole thing put me in mind of what a robotic graveyard might sound like, if not all of its denizens were fully deactivated.

The other track I wanted to mention was Ion Voltage, which begins with a static rush that seems to spray and bounce around before bursting into an almost ohm-like sound. A short time later, more electronic distorted sounds appear, jarring, looping and juddering, some with voice-like properties. This track, much like Electrical Membrane, put me in mind of tormented machinery. It also put me in mind of a dark ambient album that I listened to a good few years ago by Hecq called Night Falls, in which a similar kind of disturbing electrical theme seemed to emerge.

Neuroplasticity lives up to its description, there are certainly lots of detail sounds in each track and a good enough range of sound to keep the attention and to stay interesting. I think it gives a good, dark listening experience, I just didn’t get on with it on a personal level. With this in mind, I give it 3/5, but I urge anyone that is intrigued by some of the descriptions above to check out Ion Voltage below and see if it resonates with them.

Check out Neuroplasticity on bandcamp at this link.

You can listen to “Ion Voltage” below:

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

Album Title: Neuroplasticity
Artists: Dronny Darko
Label : Cryo Chamber
Released: January 26, 2016