Monday, November 23, 2009

Deep in Ocean Sunk the Lamp
of Light - AEthenor (#7, 2006)

A supergroup of noiseniks, AEthenor takes avant-experimentalism into dark new realms. They are: Stephen O'Malley of Sunn O))), Daniel O' Sullivan of Guapo, and Vincent de Roguin of Shora.

Part I of Deep in Ocean Sunk the Lamp of Light (2006)

The title seems to be a quote from The Iliad (~8th century BC), and I believe it's intended to describe the content of the record. It sounds like it's supposed to represent the non-anthropomorphic journey of the lamp. Somewhat... maybe. It's possible I'm too literal, and projecting too much from the title/concept to the various sounds. These are site-specific recordings, to the extent that each member is even credited with playing "room." And although there is guitar, keyboards and percussion, it does come off as a spatial audio experiment - in four parts.

Deep in Ocean
Part I starts quietly, with an ambient wash and clattering noise coalescing into a metallic waveform. Gradually it builds, from shoreline tide to the open sea crashing. The rhythm transforms, with more percussive clattering, and we're closer to a wooden vessel creaking on those same heavy waves. There's music somewhere, submerged in the noise. It won't get any more literal for quite awhile, but suddenly the surface wave phenomemon recedes. Part II is more diffuse and open, centered on brittle electronic noise and keyboard. The contrast with Part I's rhythm does evoke peaceful descent through the icy void beneath a stormy surface. Part III becomes less literal still - spooky and ambient, it feels dark and claustophobic. The lamp seems to be in the lower depths, blackness closing in, with the occasional blind and phosphorescent monstrosity swimming much too near. Finally Part IV has the most musical activity and motion since Part I, and in my imagination, huge cliffs above the ocean floor rise and surround with accelerating speed.

Parts III & IV of Deep in Ocean Sunk the Lamp of Light (2006)

Regardless whether I'm over-analyzing the specifics, definite moods and sensations are created through the enveloping, impressionistic sound story. The music, noise, rooms, recordings, all work together impressively. It's not a rock band by any definition, but still sounds good.

Deep in Ocean Sunk the Lamp of Light
Official/Myspace -
Blogspot - /aethenor...
Purchase - VHF Records
iTunes - AEthenor

Genre - Experimental Dark Jazz
Review - Dusted Magazine

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