Lucid Intrusion by Ajna

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Ajna
Lucid Intrusion (Cyclic Law; CD; DL)

The third eye chakra may be watching, at least by way of New York’s Ajna (Chris F) who has been making atmospheric records for a decade now. Lucid Intrusion (out 8/6) on Berlin imprint Cyclic Law is my introduction to his work and though it’s broken into nine tracks, it’s really more like an hour long passion play in varied shades of gray. The opening of The Scourge of Souls has an ambient reserve with what could be described as a light wind through Autumn leaves, ever so slight percussion and a secretive drone. This forms something kin to throat singing and then we are on to the rush of Black Room.

Here we are in a mostly quiet dream chamber with a humming whir, crackle and isolating effects. The gentle strumming and gurgling rumble are reminders that nature surrounds us at all time, like a slithering wake-up call to the general psyche. If there were a criticism of this record it would be that the flow is broken in its tracks, it’s really a ghostly long-player without interruption. So you’d have to make a mix tape and edit the fadeouts for that, but otherwise this has all the atmospheric components you come to expect from the most balanced of dark ambient recordings, and then some. Venomous, which comes next has a perfume mist of essence that self-atomizes, vanishing in reduced peaks and lows while outside industrial forces are at work way at the horizonline.

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And so it goes, into the trance of Shadow of the Orb and Spirits I which can only be transmissions from the netherworld. But on Spirits II we get something of a shift, dripping water in a container and human presence, deep breathing with an exhalation of digitized particulate. The drone has slowed, and small circles form as the drip continues and the spirit-like figure emerges. In one of the more complex tracks, filled with layers of actions vs atmosphere, Her Morphing Face has a dropping-from-the-sky drone while gadgets are manipulated at random intervals. The effect is is off-putting (in a good way). The sounds are like coins going into a slot, but the agitated movements mixed with the gaseous backdrop are slightly inebriating. Moving towards the end, Infinitam Abyssum, with its drawn out silences and foggy spaces make for a haunted affair. It’s perfectly stark of reverb and wind, and hive-like synths, with one last supernatural gasp bringing us back to its origin.

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