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[sic], "Gorilla Masking Tape"

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Having listened to and zoned out on this release at least half a dozen times, it should be obvious what it is that is so compelling about [sic]'s compositions of dusty long drones, deep ambient spaces and bump-in-the-night tension, but it's not. On the one hand, this is difficult listening: all uneasy sounds and dischordant timbres rubbing up against one another to create an ambiguous feeling of dread. On the other hand, for those familiar with the work of like-minded artists like those featured on the quasi-legendary "Isolationism" compilation, [sic] fits perfectly into a already-defined niche of dark, brooding ambient characterized more by its claustrophobia than by its use reflection of space as an expanse. I could tell you that Gorilla Masking Tape is a beautiful, haunting record, or that it's alpha-wave inducing at the right volume, or that it's a perfectly quiet record for people who lead unquiet lives, but none of that really captures the force that these tracks embody. Perhaps the record's most defining characteristic is that it is indeed so malleable that it can be both loud and quiet, both serene and disturbed, both beautiful and terrifying and that it does all of this effortlessly. I often wonder what more can be said about music like this that is both barely there and a force of nature all at once, depending on your volume knob. I always think that it will be impossible for someone to release yet another essential dark ambient disc in a world where artists who do this sort of thing tend to have voluminous discographies of equally affecting work already. I think that, and then I hear a record like Gorilla Masking Tape and it suddenly all sounds fresh and important and essential again and I'm left wanting more. It doesn't get much better than that.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 August 2005 05:32  


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