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- Nocturnes by Matthew P. Hopkins
8/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 23 January 2014
Matthew P Hopkins is not one half of Deaf Center but I could swear that when Phil was handing over my stack of reviewables yesterday he said he was, so I thought this LP would contain some dreamy and wistful slow-moving piano loveliness to caress my ears. Actually I was kind of miles out, and what's going on here is some gently throbbing dark ambience in the vein of Deathprod or Decimus.
Slowly pulsating bass swells dominate 'Nocturne 1', along with some weird scraping noises and sinister breathy vocalisations. It's got that same contemplative beauty to its darkness that the aforementioned Deathprod is so good at evoking, that strange converging point between demonic and soulful. 'Nocturne 2' places more emphasis on concretey surface samples of weird clicks and scrapes and animal noises, although the underlying drones still remain a constant feature.
On the other side is of course 'Nocturne 3', which delves into a similar ambient morass as the opener, on one hand the drones are calming, but the underlying radio static and trebly twitches give it a bubbling sense of paranoia which is well augmented with the little booklet that comes with this with what appear to be listening instructions, each beginning "In chair at desk" and following with bizarre timewasting instructions, perhaps a commentary on this post-industrial internet-era malaise we are all experiencing. It's quite vivid and powerful, but also quite cryptic, much like the music.
If you like dark droney records, this is one of those.
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