Sunday 25 July 2021

Dark Ambient Review: The Dark Side of Obscurity [EP]

Dark Ambient Review: The Dark Side of Obscurity [EP]

Review By Casey Douglass

The Dark Side of Obscurity [EP] Cover Art

When people start to piss you off, particularly the stories that they tell about each other or about the state of the world, by which I mean the “news”, I’m always thankful for dark ambient music and its ability to push everything away. The Dark Side of Obscurity is a dark ambient EP from Equidon, and its three cinematic tracks give the mind a great mini-break from society.

The first track is Underground System and it’s my favourite. It sets off with muffled, distant cracks of thunder, or explosions of some kind. A growing drone accompanies them, and a wind-like hiss that seems to blow a gust of pressure through the soundscape. A small “tappy” beat begins, and as the track progresses, this starts to feel more and more like a clock ticking. Over time, the track becomes a whispering, crackling space, the hissing wind sounding a little more howling as the end looms. There is even a little audio skip or glitch at intervals that wakes you from the lull of the drone. A dark track that really does feel like traversing dark tunnels while some calamity is happening upon the surface.

The next track is Nuclear Submarine. It starts with plinking, creaking echoes, the kind made by things floating in water and bumping into hard metal edges. The water glugs, there is a hiss of air, and a slow, low buzzing tone begins. This is a dense track, one that feels like being pushed down or confined in a small dark place. There are high elements such as a shimmer that comes and goes, but for the most part, this is a throbbing, murky track, one perfectly suited to pondering what it might be like to be stranded in a submarine, fathoms below the surface of the sea.

The final track is Approaching. This is a lighter track in comparison to the others, but still a strange one. It contains tones that warp and twist, and metallic clattering sounds. The sound of “smoothed” thunder appears a little later, small impacts and a quiet shimmer joining the droning space. I’m not sure how I’d describe what might be going on here. Maybe a psychic is summoning another being in a dark, musty cellar, the sounds of distant nightlife occasionally breaking through. It’s peaceful though, chant-like.

The Dark Side of Obscurity is a micro-dose of dark ambient to get you through your day. We are often told the benefit of taking a ten minute mindfulness breather, so why not take a 17 minute infusion of darkness on your lunch-break? If you are anything like me, it could be just the trick after you’ve eaten your sandwiches, stretched your legs, and realised just how tense your neck and shoulders have become. Sample some murk before getting back to work.

Visit the The Dark Side of Obscurity page on Bandcamp for more information.

Album Title: The Dark Side of Obscurity [EP]

Album Artist: Equidon

Released: 2 July 2021