Some lightly fried bread from Hessien. Your Empire In Decline is a series of new age sounds from this duo. Their hazy sounds emerge from a pool of innocence with a pallet of synthetic paints to be slowly smeared around the canvas of your well being. They've got to be into Eno & Fripp with as record such as this - so there's your reference. Out on Cd from The Long Story Recording Company.
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- Your Empire In Decline by Hessien
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Tracing the outlines of starry guitarry ambient we have guitar & electronics duo Charles Sage and Tim Diagram peddling sweet haze on their latest offering Your Empire, In Decline. This has been labelled as ‘new age’ and ‘electro-acoustic’ by various sources but that’s a bit of a disservice - their sound isn’t as obviously far-out or filled with broken dissonance as these observations would lead you to believe.
It’s a sublime bath of elongated reverb tails and layered guitars, moving patiently from the whalesong of ‘Prometheus’ to the distorted textures of ‘Man Overboard’. Seems like Sage & Diagram (isn’t that a flavour of soup?) would rather ponder this bloke spiralling into a whirlpool than jump in to save him. Maybe it’s their ‘Velcro Arms’ holding them back. The distortion layers are actually the highlight of the album, with their timbre not too harsh but warm and almost cuddly. When you’re as comfortable as this, looks can be deceiving.
Most refreshing is the fact that the album doesn’t lie entirely in the ‘beatless drift’ land that often plagues the ambient world. 5th track ‘Army of David’ plays a steady dirge, further propelling you through the record with its almost Reichian minimalism. Saying that, there is a sense that their palette isn’t as wide as it could be, relying heavily on distorted reverbs in a minor key, but it’s a great sound that ties the album together beautifully. Think Fripp & Eno meets Tim Hecker in an octopus’s garden.
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