Saturday 20 February 2016

Dark Music Review – Reflections Under The Sky

Dark Music Review – Reflections Under The Sky

Review Written By Casey Douglass

Reflections Under The Sky CD Cover

A collaboration between Moscow based Textere Oris and Ukrainian project SiJ comes this field recording focused release. A merger of warm tape noise fused recordings and analogue acoustics, it paints a larger than life picture of nature with a warm but at times brooding backdrop with and overlay of sacral vocals.

Reflections Under The Sky is a gentle listen, the focus on field recordings of rain and water lulling the mind while the echoes and beats wash over the listener. I always tend to lean toward dark ambient albums that use nature recordings and other “real world” sounds as accompaniment to their darker tones, so from the start, I felt quite warmly towards this album.

A striking example of this can be found in the track “Lost”, a track that begins with a blaring horn-type sound and then features the sounds of birdsong and the empty interference patterns of a de-tuned radio. Sacral vocals begin to ebb and flow around a deeper beat, painting the picture of someone lost in nature, far from technology or other people. There are other sounds too, snatches of voices, drums, footsteps and thunder but all conspire to paint a lonely, possibly hallucinatory picture.

Another track that I really enjoyed was “In The Rain”, a composition that starts with gentle rain, what sounds like distant voices, and a low key electronic humming. Then a light drone and a melody joins, along with the odd metallic dripping and clattering. The track’s tone harshens a little in the second half, the track ending with the sound of passing cars splashing through heavy puddles. An atmospheric and enjoyable track that lets the listener appreciate that they aren’t actually walking home beside a busy flooded road.

The final track that I wanted to mention was the static infused “First Snow”, a track that uses a cascade of rain and chimes or bells tolling, with distant flutes of some kind joining later. The track is relaxing, just as most of them are, but it certainly has a dark undertone for all the peaceful sounds it contains, which is quite remarkable.

Reflections Under The Sky is a fantastic listen, especially when the weather outside your own window might match what is going on inside the soundscapes you are listening to. It’s harsh in places, but not in a jarring way, and its use of field recordings as a firm basis for the compositions to be constructed on or around is genuinely enjoyable. If you enjoy more meditative and relaxing dark ambient music, Reflections Under The Sky is probably a great choice for you. Even if you don’t tend towards that kind of sound, it is still well worth your time. I give it 4.5/5.

Check out Reflections Under The Sky on bandcamp at this link.

You can listen to “Lost” below:

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

Album Title: Reflections Under The Sky
Artists: SiJ & Textere Oris
Label : Cryo Chamber
Released: February 9, 2016