Friday 25 June 2021

Dark Ambient Review: False Awakening

Dark Ambient Review: False Awakening

Review By Casey Douglass

False Awakening
Album Cover

Dreams are amazing but often so confusing. The way that we usually accept what is happening as normal, even if we’ve just seen a rabbit transform into a skyscraper, it just boggles the mind. When we wake up, we find it hard to understand our night-time mental state, how we could be so foolish and gullible. False Awakening is a dark ambient album from Drifting in Silence, an album that takes time to reflect on the dream theories of Carl Jung.

Generally speaking, the soundscapes contained on False Awakening are smooth and gentle, lulling and relaxing. Many of the tracks have a deep pulsing quality that carries the listener along in some audio mimicry of peristaltic movement, as if they’ve been swallowed by a giant trance-inducing cuddle creature. There are field recordings and warm electronic tones, along with guitar and piano notes. These elements do a great job of concocting a dream-like feeling of fuzziness and mystery.

One of my favourite tracks is Myth of Memory. It begins with the sounds of a gentle breeze, trickling water or rain, and birdsong. A wispy electronic melody floats into being, setting the soundscape into a pulsing, blanketed sensation of night fall and peace. Or, as I wrote in my notes, a marshmallow fog encasing the listener. There is a lower tone sitting beneath things, the tones all playing together to make the soundscape feel rich and deep. A peaceful track.

Another track that I wanted to mention is Unknown Archetype. This also opens with birdsong, but is soon populated with an airy drone and echoing, languid single notes. There are also small clicks or sounds of activity. This track, for me, had a meditative, temple-like feel. The kind of temple that you might see a character in a film stumble across, one hidden in an unruly jungle, full of furtive rustling and stern-faced statues. The tones twist down into a more ominous sound as the track progresses, leaving the listener to wonder if the temple is one of spiritual advancement or cannibalistic domination.

The last track that I wanted to talk about is also the last track on the album: False Awakening. It starts with a growing drone and what seems to be the static of a howling wind. There are plucked guitar notes and a shimmering too. The initial mental image that came to me, was of a dew-laden watering-can sitting on a wet lawn, the golden light of the rising sun making everything glow. As the soundscape evolves however, I felt a darkness creep in, or maybe a deception. The glowing dewy watering-can ended up sitting in a tight circle of sunlight, the rest of the garden remaining clocked in the heavy blanket of night. I liked this feeling, this weird, interesting place to be.

False Awakening is a dark ambient album that for me, produced a host of fun, dream-like images and scenes. As I said in my introduction, there is little harshness to be found here, which makes this a fine album to relax with or doze off to sleep to. There was a pleasing amount of both darkness and light, and I’m a big fan of the pulsing qualities that sit so comfortably in the soundscapes. To repeat what I said above, let yourself be swallowed by the giant trance-inducing cuddle creature!

Visit the False Awakening page on Bandcamp for more information. You can also checkout the track, False Awakening below:

I was given a review copy of this album.

Album Title: False Awakening

Album Artist: Drifting in Silence

Label: Secret Press

Released: 28 May 2021