Apparitions by David Lee Myers

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Transportation/Transformation: It’s an aural illusion of sine waves when you first put on this new record from David Lee Myers. Apparitions (digital download from Silent Records) runs about an hour over the course of nine tracks that are at once jarring, and curious (as heard on Phantasm). This eerie disquiet leads a thirsty foraging for sound waves, cycling and beaming, testing tones and layering effects throughout Tongues. Perhaps its the initial capture of the language of the mysterious apparitions as titled? If so the language is vibrant in its reeling division of multiple tones that cry out with a calculated on/off approach. Not since The Ghost Orchid: An Introduction To EVP (Ash International) have I heard such an earnest step into the world of afterlife. There’s definitely a feeling that someone is controlling the situation, our psyche and surroundings — an imperfect experimental science at work.

Once through the initial tumultuous layers we are led to the more cerebral Tenebrous which hovers and sinks with a burrowing synth range that is rounded out. The record meanders with subtle shades of early Tangerine Dream meet (and/or vs.) the unplugged instrumentalism of say, Sonic Boom in his Spacemen 3 days – all devoid of any real ‘rock’ treatments. And suddenly we are left transported into the openness of pure space (A Fool’s Delirium), isolated and awkwardly floating. Lee Myers pays a lot of attention to the detail of motion, we witness his hand in the work, developing activated sounds that refrain from stillness, even when things are at their most quiet. This should be used as the next installment in the Aliens franchise, it has great timing/pause and the tendency to become suddenly sinister. Managing to keep from the outright creepy, a lo-fi motor revs far in the distance as starry forms emerge on Rapture:Remnant and Astrophysical. The latter being something of a tone test determining that we are here in the universe, amid other beings, speaking in languages, as distorted and sideways as these electronic chords. It’s a swansong to connecting the complexity of infinite matter.

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Stay for the three final tracks as you are in for a thrilling run of tropical timbre and tunnel-scope travel (I’ve got my mind on Hyperloop One these days). On the thrilling Chimera, the immense space, filled of lightness, becomes exposed and dropped as if a sonar beam was testing and talking to beings, and then switched off. The sense of anticipation is high. Then these tests go leftfield, and burn even brighter and at times quite industrial as on Translucent Wraith. This is discovery, this is the source. A channel of communication hatches. Apparitions is likely one of David Lee Myers’ (aka Arcane Device) most peculiar journeys in the field of cosmic sound yet from this longtime NY-based practitioner. And by the curvy yield of Upper Air my guess is these explorations will continue passionately into the unknown. Lucky for us we have a brave soul who will continue to challenge and electrify our eardrums. Coming in for a landing…..

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