Some of the Quiet
Ivy Stone Recordings
Welcome to the wonderful, mind-blowing world of Some of the Quiet (Christian Ryan), where dark guitar- and synth-based ambience a la Jeff Greinke and Soul Whirling Somewhere meets slowdive/slowcore meets fantastically intricate noisescaping a la Keiji Haino, with some cool breakbeats and excellent, understated male vocals thrown into the mix. There's even an unlisted, painfully slow, amazingly bleak cover of "Leaving on a Jet Plane" to round things out at the end of the album (don't knock it till you've heard it).
Although I enjoyed the more traditional tracks as well, Some of the Quiet's dark ambient visions left me gasping for air. "Shining in the Wet" evokes a vivid impression of an approaching storm with faraway synth-thunder rumbling across the sky, getting closer and closer till it completely envelops you in an all-muffling clammy mist of gray. Shimmering synth washes lance through the ever-shifting clouds like errant sunbeams, while intermittent guitar strummings flash through the surrounding gloom, their unexpected suddenness whipping your head around. A chorus of moaning in the background issues from the twisted faces in the clouds, coupling with the violent churning of the storm to roil your gut with nightmare memories while scratchy-percussive electronics capture perfectly the hiss-plink of falling raindrops cratering the blasted earth.
And that's not to mention the brilliant, Lustmord-like, monstrous darkness of "Stretching--Patience," or the hypnotic minimal noise-harmonics and riveting layered ebowings of "Tired of Now" (both these tracks clock in at well over ten minutes each). I hope Ivy Stone gets this album the distribution and attention it deserves, because it's one of the most moving and original compositions I've heard in the past couple of years.
Ivy Stone Recordings, P.O. Box 895, Mt. Prospect, IL 60056-0895; http://www.ivystone.com