IIVII | Obsidian EP
Consouling Sounds (CD/DL)
Josh Graham is IIVII and his latest effort is this elegant Obsidian EP which deconstructs the behind-the-scenes documentary, Mother! The Downward Spiral, offering a deeply atmospheric take on a cinematic soundtrack. From the pensive opening of Octagone the listener will be quickly lost in the labyrinth of stylish electronica. A heady dose of aura and ambience, open space and fleeting darkness. The piano is contemplative and captivating, especially when the added reverberation slithers through, offering an ominous feel to an otherwise wistful melody.
Merdian Passage, with its growing core of drone that sounds like an elongated chorus, is an expedition into the ellipse of where melody meets highly pixelated abstraction. As an off-shoot of the work of Darren Aronofsky, this perfectly captures something similar to a transitional, melancholic setting you may have been familiar with from his work on the silver screen. Elsewhere you can almost hear a pin drop (Destructed Salvation) as the tension builds and Graham’s multidiciplinary artistic sense of restraint is fully harnessed. But then there is a piece like MineBlackHeart in the center of this unfolding plot. A graceful work of fluid, swirling synths and a perhaps an accidental nod to the work of Clément Philibert Léo Delibes. This is all interrupted by a fracturing percussion line that halves the harmony. The intrigue intensifies, and that leery drop in pressure is sensitive and tangible.
Finally, The Body Compels closes the short set, balancing a poker-faced melody with textured electronics that seem to waft without engaging directly. It becomes more tranquil as the Fairlight-like synths dive and rise above the ear, almost of a hive-like nature. The piece has an emotional and sobering moodiness, as if we are witnessing some sort of aftermath.