Finally a new solo release by peaceful droner Daniel W J Mackenzie, also known as Ekca Liena, to follow up the wonderful Slow Music for Rapid Eye Movement. Graduals features more absent-minded and carefully placed plucked strings, melancholy guitar solos and heavy droning synthesizers, all mixed to a tasty and dreamy total.
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- Graduals by Ekca Liena
8/10 Laurie Staff review, 05 March 2015
With an album title like Graduals, it’s straight to the drone zone. The artist at the helm is Ekca Liena, a fuzzy extension of the human man Daniel Mackenzie, and if his band Plurals is anything to go by, this will be a long splurge of atmospheric sound with a fair amount of noisiness present. Guitarists can’t be trusted with synths, they just go straight for the distortion pedals. Good on them.
If the word ‘ethereal’ wasn’t completely exhausted on our site already, then that would be my go-to descriptor for this release. And yes, I know that counts as using it anyway. But it is - Graduals stays true to the name, moving through emotional pieces laced with epic, melancholic melody and distant swells of feedback noise at the pace you’d expect. pieces will start ponderous and reverbed, joined by a guitar or keys line before looped distorted menaces are conjured forth, leaving the end of some tracks with just a single tone and a morphing noise beast. It can be quite cathartic, especially when the whole loud-quiet dynamic stereotypical of post-rock is thrown into the mix. 2nd track ‘Mattie Devore’ suddenly leaps into blast mode in the 3rd minute leaving you 4 times as diminished as when you began listening.
The record is nice and long, at 60 minutes over 7 tracks, giving the ambiance room to breathe and allowing you to stew for an hour without having to get up. Go on, embrace your laziness, join the majestic procession of guitars and synth, show off to yer mates about how brooding you can be.
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