Nightmares by Jury 7 by Lenne Tyler is based on a simple question: "What if you were stuck in a nightmare and couldn't wake up?" It’s a freaky thought and is almost as disturbing a the album cover that Tyler uses. Jury 7 is an instrumental album that can really be broken down into two fundamental components; atmosphere and percussion.
Tyler utilizes some organic instrumentation such as guitar as well as pads and dissonant sounds to create feelings of tension and disharmony. He often overlays hip-hop type beats and when combined with tonal sounds create music that could be comparable Boards Of Canada.
The idea of creating haunting, ominous sounds is nothing new. Records such as Haunt Me by Tim Hecker and Evacuation and The Haxan Cloak can be downright terrifying. So how does Nightmares compare in terms of overall creepiness? It has some songs that hit it right on the bullseye such as “Sick”. Tyler creates an ominous atmosphere around a five note progression that sounds similar to something you might have heard on the NIN record The Fragile. The songs best moments are toward the end where it slowly descends into a void of despair.
Other songs such as the opener “In Medias Res” are a far cry from a tension filled arena. The music is rather tranquil and relaxing. It’s not a bad tune but didn’t feel aligned with the theme or consistent with some of the other material. “DArk !dontletherout!” is a hard hitting tune the revolves a simple piano chord progressions and clouds of uncertainty.
One of the tracks most aligned with feeling dreamlike was the third track “dont turn around”. Tyler does a good job at creating sounds that feel as if you are in the ether of dreams. The ambiguous sound pulsates back and forth as if you are at the heart of a planet on an alien world.
I give Tyler credit for basing Nightmares on a unique subject. Some of the songs work really well within the context and some feel a bit ostracized. Anyway you look at it this is a formidable batch of songs concept or not. Tyler still needs to do some tweaking to compete with artists such as Tim Hecker or Oneohtrix Point Never but shows a lot potential.
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