Epitaph celebrates three decades of work by Dirk Serries, the man behind vidnaObmana, Fear Falls Burning, Yodok III and other eloquent collaborations along the way. Released on April 8th via Gent’s Consouling Sounds in double vinyl (a special edition of 100 as well) and CD formats I’m fully engaged from the top. With the aptly titled Spectral Grey Walls, an oddly soothing barrage of guitar and electronic drone, you are treated to a sweet frosty sensibility that is genuinely hypnotic. To honor this records’ release Serries will headline BRDCST, a massive evening of varied sound projects with special guests to catalogue his history all presented in his home country, Belgium. On track four, Eaves of Dust, he opens with a super-restrained quietude slowly weaving a crystalline harmony that even at nearly seven minutes is far to short, leaving you wanting more of the same to lose yourself in.
The whole recording, from end to end, is a bit breathtaking in its quest for light and dark, finding a happy balance in its austere sound-shaping ease. The pace is nearly slo-mo on the awkwardly titled The Profusion of Daze, but nothing is off-center as the deeper bass tones flare over the elegant opal drone with a shadowy pride. Things take a darker turn on tracks like Formations of Grace, the longest piece included here, though it sets up a bit of a quiet storm for the incredible The Nebulous Clouds. Here we have a breathing, pulsating sound that comes together in what seem to be endless layers of weary guitars, stretched thinly, semiopaque. Not too unlike the spiny pod-like undulation of the cover art (above) by the incredible Martina Verhoeven. In the final classic ambient anthem of sorts, And All The Murmur Fell, the moodiness inhabits in a moment of light drifting by. Pure solitude. And like some of the best contemporary science fiction soundtracks of late, dips its big toe into the fast-forward future. With its cyclical, contorting sound wall, the track leaves us in peace.