Framed Waves by Tropic of Coldness

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Tropic of Coldness
Framed Waves (Glacial Movements; CD/DL)

The album (out July 16), the duo’s third, begins with a slow-growing drone and a quiet, distant ring. Imagining a ‘tropic of coldness’ is like observing the overly exaggerated shifts in our own nature, and that which surrounds us. It is a dichotomy that is delivered in sheer, silken ambient tones over five tracks here. The opener Distilled conversations whets our palette with a floating, meditative melody and drifts into The pride of our sails, which retains the same atmosphere, only adding the creaking effect as if at sea. It’s a few shades darker and slightly foreboding, however there is still a mystical quieting rhythm on deck. David and Giovanni, the duo behind the mixer, met in Brussels – perhaps by chance in 2011, both multi-instrumentalists. Between them they bring guitars, synths, voice and samplers to the table.

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Two and a half stones is next up. The shy timbre of multi-layers emits in hushed tones. The sound level builds some, and the first appearance of guitar strings rises from the dusky textured scene with rising and falling pulsations. It’s feels strangely like an old Western, set on another inhabited planet. It’s a bit desolate and frameless, drifting off into the ether. They rested then blossomed opens with a finite jangle, like the glassy surface of a lake at dawn. Glints of light, becoming slightly distorted in a shallow top layer of wavy drone, and another just out of reach. The field recordings used here are far from their origin story, having been synthesized and effectively becoming recycled, reused, renewed. The moodiness has some in common with Stars of the Lid, though the slow wailing strings recall only blurred memories. The record concludes with the title track, loaded with a sense of buoyancy. Set within a bodacious backdrop, of nature, with only the small folding actions that appear overlain the lilting, airy habitat. These sweeping synths are non-textured, so smooth, and yet herein lurks an arc that infers an uncertain mystique.

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