Upcoming Constellation Tatsu and sophomore release of Ambient/Drone artist Daniel Klag, Inner Earth.
I’m having one of those days today, one of those days where you just cant be fucked to do anything, where stupid little things make you mad, and one of the last things on my mind was sitting down and writing a review. But instead of wallowing in self-pity and just sitting around being a miserable bastard I decided to do it anyway because my previous listens of this release were actually quite interesting and, if truth be told, the music that Daniel has crafted on this introspective excursion does sort of suit my present mood.
I think the moment where I realised this album was really calling me was when I heard “Moth Wings” played back (and you can watch its official video here); introducing itself on a bed of thickly processed guitar drones that thrum rhythmically and firmly it sets an oppressive and haunting atmosphere, one that speaks of the introspection that this album is built upon. Its melodic structure, although something of a loose concept when it comes to ambient music, evolves and alters slowly and effortlessly, with the previously coarse and penetrating noisy guitar seguing into a sound more reminiscent of the original instrument, slowly becoming more rounded and smoother as it returns to its calmer, softer, acoustic origins. Even as the sound decays however, there is always a remnant sense of feeling lost and bleary eyed, stumbling through life blinded by the stereophonic textures.
A similar abrasion and ferocity comes through in the dark tumult of drone that is the closer “Manticore”. Layers of drone-noise fall through the air in slow-motion, textures rolling over and merging into one another in a jumbled yet flawlessly crafted soundscape that once again evolves and becomes progressively more refined and more peaceful as time goes by; as they say, time heals all wounds and its 12 minute duration surely helps to sooth the early anguish felt here as the jagged edges ease off and make way for an ultimately more resigned yet acceptable and willing sound.
The other half of the album takes a less harsh and more indirect approach; “Awakener”‘s silky yet dark drone is punctuated across its seemingly endless 6 minute duration by the intermittent chiming and tolling of bells (small ones I should add, not church ones). The effect it has is chilling and hauntingly familiar, like the embodiment of staring sleepless at the dark ceiling, your mind devoid of all thought yet lost within itself as the seconds, minutes and hours lose all meaning in the wee small hours of the morning, a sound that hides, even suppresses, the underlying turmoil. On a different tack, the opener “Infinite Arc” seems to set that nighttime mood for this album (or maybe that’s just my frame of mind talking); it feels like the woozy period before sleep as the soft and lightweight drones press gently on your eyelids and remind you that you need to rest and recuperate and leave behind, if only for a few unaware hours, the worries of the world still going on all around while you dream. Chasing the opener up is the equally at peace “Litany”, arguably more peaceful in fact. Any edginess in the drones has been stripped and the textural complexity left behind, taking the piece back to its barest minimum as we migrate to the warm confines of our bed and begin to drift off into the easy, nay, effortless, world of sleep.
I appear to have approached this album not only backwards but from completely the wrong attitude just because that’s how I felt at the time. Turns out writing a review in two parts over two days is not the best of ideas, but I can see the whole picture clearly now. Sleep is the Inner Earth that Klag speaks of, it is certainly an introspection but not the one that I thought before; this is an exploration of the subconscious, a peek into the dark corners of our mind that become unsuppressed as we lapse into sleep; who knows what cruel, mean thoughts lie in the deeper portions of our brains that are allowed to ruminate and fester as we sleep? We certainly need our rest, but there is something about this album that reminds me that it is not necessarily a cure for everything and that the same anxieties and concerns we have one day will slumber with us into the next.