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- The Unintentional Sea by Rafael Anton Irisarri
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With a sleeve as grey as the dismal view out of what passes itself off as a window in our cavernous 60s tower block, the music is equally as bleak, consisting of dirge-like low washes of sound and foggy distant loops.
The album was partly inspired by the true story of the Salton Sea, a failed river redirection to assist Californian agricultural development at the turn of the 20th century which led to a mass death of fish and other wildlife. At times starting off in near silence, the emerging bassy thrums could sound gently undulating and/or similar to a lorry parked on a deserted hillside turning its engine over, joined by the most minimal of drones, washed out piano plucks, backwards trills and bowed cymbals to create a kind of Harold Budd-like soundscape.
My favourite tracks are those which offer a little more, such as the closing track ‘Lesser Than The Sum Of Its Parts’. This uses distant orchestral/choir sounds looping round and shrouded in hiss and fuzz to create a haunting cinematic piece that matches the almost invisible image lost in fog on the album's front sleeve. The album succeeds through such hard-to-grasp atmospheres that hint at something boldly developed but held back, allowing the listener to drift along lost in its mist-covered world.
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