Sunday 11 June 2023

Dark Ambient: The First Year of Reality Scruncher

Dark Ambient: The First Year of Reality Scruncher

Reality Scruncher

Things often exist without a name, even if that label is created a little later. Before the notion of Reality Scruncher came along, I found myself attempting to create music similar to the artists that I most enjoy, trying to capture that glorious, awe inspiring quality that the dark ambient genre holds.

I enjoyed creating sinister drones. I enjoyed wandering the house with my Zoom H1 in hand, creating my own field recordings to toy with. I enjoyed how a track coalesced into something, that even with my own lack of music creation chops, nevertheless, sounded like what I was hoping for.

My initial tracks ended up on my Soundcloud page and as a handful of videos on my YouTube channel, but not for long. I don’t really rate Soundcloud as a platform, it mainly seemed like “bot-city” to me, and so I deleted my years old account. My YouTube offerings got culled when I left social media in the Summer of 2022, although I did ultimately return to YouTube as it’s the most convenient place to post videos, in my opinion anyway.

A few months later, I got the itch to attempt to merge some of my previously created tracks into an entire dark ambient album and put it up for free on Bandcamp. This turned out to be Deep Space Impingement, a rumbling, droning space-infused album in a minimalist horror style. This is also when I had to create my music project name, concocting Reality Scruncher as a reference to the other realities that I hoped to create and destroy with my music.

I gave out a lot of free Bandcamp codes for Deep Space Impingement, and it also got a good number of free downloads through the “free” button on its Bandcamp page. Dave over at The Dungeon in Deep Space gave it a very kind review, as did some other kind people, and all in all I was very pleased with how it turned out.

Since then, I’ve released four more albums:

The Miasmic Bridge, themed around occult spirit communication and unnerving, looming drones.

Nature Abhors A Personality Vacuum, a brief three track album about a depressed man being swallowed by nature. Yes, I was deeply depressed at the time.

Hell Isn’t Physical, It’s Digital! a collaboration with musician Scott Lawlor, playing with notions of Hell and technology.

Bootleg Virtue Injection, an album with a concept set in the tech-infused future, where a lone hacker finds a way to make the ancient philosophy of Stoicism more accessible to the people who want it.

Very recently, I decided to set my albums to “£1 or more” on Bandcamp, and was pleasantly surprised to make my first couple of sales. I didn’t think it would happen to be honest and still found myself amazed that people even wanted my music for free.

Making dark ambient music has become an enjoyable hobby for me, but as is the case with anything that I start to get into, my mental and physical health slaps it down and makes it hellish for me to move forward.

My OCD picks away at things, my chronic fatigue sees me struggling to sit at the PC for more than 30 minutes, and my depression rolls in with stuff like “What’s the point?” and “The people who listen to your stuff are only being nice”.

Even so, I didn’t expect to be sitting here a year on, with a few albums to my name, a collab and a few pennies from real money sales. So thank you to everyone who has ever listened to my music, even just once. Even if it wasn’t your kind of thing. And if it was and you enjoyed it, even better!

I hope to create more, and I hope to make more progress with the technical side of things too. Time will tell.

Thanks for reading :)