Ahhh these are the kinds of records I live for. After listening to so much music and consuming more then ever it is extremely difficult to find something that has me in awe and feels utterly original. When I popped in this amazing album Dotted Drives and Drone Delays by Larkian I felt the same as when I first listened to Fennesz’s epic album Endless Summer. I felt inspired that artists were still doing original things and finding new ways for sounds to translate into experiences that can evoke some of the most primal of emotions. Larkian aka Cyril Monnard, is a Lausanne (Switzerland) based guitarist that uses his instrument as a sound generator and manipulates the living daylights out of it to create intense, vast, unpredictable, stoic, hypnotic, landscapes that are covered with beds of white noise that contain melodies underneath. There's a song by Fennesz called “Glide” and I felt like these songs were similar in style to that song. What’s great about these pieces is that they feel like organic elements raising from the universe as opposed to presets I heard a thousand times before in the software program Reason. As the sounds rise from the universe they don't need to make you feel nostalgic, melancholy, joyful; instead they present themselves completely ambivalent as to what feeling it would like to impart upon you. This is achieved by combining elements of beauty with elements of dissonance that converge to melt the matter of your mind. The album is two pieces; the first being 14 plus minutes and the second at 12 and some change.
The first piece starts unassuming as it sounds like a snippet of music you might hear in a Quentin Tarantino film. Slow guitars pick a melody that conjures up a scene of a cowboy entering a desolate town. As the song progresses the melody start to feel like a distant melody as pads of warmth and fluctuations create a dream-like soundscape that slowly evolves. The most sudden and alarming of noises is presented around the 7-minute mark. It sounds as if we have located the nexus of the ship. At this point we are so far removed from where we started we have to wonder how we got here. Further still things become even fuzzier as almost everything is covered in static. We end the first piece completely sucked into the void of oblivion where demons we hope are angels do lie.
The second part begins almost where the first piece left off. This piece felt more like being lost in the Arctic tundra. In fact I felt like I was trapped in one similar to how Luke Skywalker must have felt. The piece feels ominous as barely audible moans peek their heads above the white noise. There are little changes in this piece as slight variances and fluctuations are the moments you will sink your mind into. The piece closes by having the static distill into a virtual silence besides the rumbling of anomalies as they fade out.
Larkian has created a memorable and original album with Dotted Drives and Drone Delays. The sounds often feel like they tap into the blueprint of the universe exuding chaos, repetition, order and utter disregard of pleasing anyone. I don't know about you but listening to what the universe might sound seems like a pretty great way to pass the time.
Divide and Conquer is dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We review a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
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