DarkSonicTales – DarkSonicTales

Posted: 5 August 2021 in Albums
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Hallow Ground – HG2104 – 13th August 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

There are few things in life you can really rely on, but Hallow Ground is one of them, if you’re seeking music from the darker side. The clue’s pretty much in the name here: this is pretty dark. Of course it is. It’s also quite an interesting and unusual blend of styles and sounds, for while this forty-minute, seven-track work is predominantly instrumental and ambient in its leanings, it pushes wider and deeper than that, to span a range of territories, with often quite unsettling results.

DarkSonicTales is a project by Rolf Gisler, who was granted an artist residency in a 300-year-old farmhouse in the Swiss countryside in autumn 2019, by the label. How this sort of thing comes about, I’m not really sure, but there it is. I am a shade covetous of artists who get dedicated time and space to work on their art in whatever medium, because the simple fact is that in ordinary life there never seems to be enough time. For anything. And creativity requires headspace and time, both of which are rare and precious commodities.

Rolf seems to have made the most of his time, and the result is an album that’s varied in terms of form and tonality, which makes for a fascinating listening experience. From the mellow chiming of the short intro piece, ‘Info Pandemie’, to the eight-minute drone-swirl of ‘Best Buddies’ that drags the album to a slow-simmering conclusion in a bilious fog of sonic drift, DarkSonicTales is a deeply exploratory piece.

‘I Still Believe’ is a long, slow-burning, low-key, low-tempo gothy tune, where Gisler whispers in a baritone croon over a delicately picked guitar that’s hauntingly atmospheric and pinned down by a distant but insistent drum machine, its cracking snare cutting through the sonic haze.

‘Best Buddies’ brings the finale, and there’s a stuttering heartbeat drum flickering like a palpitation against the slow, majestic musical backdrop.

In some respects, it’s a challenge, simply because however much the album leans towards electronics, the way the instrumentation is used is so widely varied this feels like an album that’s harder to accommodate far more than it actually is. Somehow, the pieces of the jigsaw fit together.

AA

a4220900238_10

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s