Deeper Than Space | Polysun
Silent Records (DL)
Adam Douglas is Deeper Than Space and this is just his second under this moniker since back in the Bay Area rave days (circa mid 90s), in follow up to 2017’s The Mountain. In three tracks that run over an hour this is a departure from those days of trip-hop chillout, but he’s managed to retain some of the best parts. When the title track opens with a quashed, bright Glass-esque piece he suddenly redacts the whole thing with a single long-held synthetic blare, only to return and taunt. This minimalist, but somewhat estranged tribute, uses colorful and sprightly cyclical tones that drop and dodge in and through loops – and only keeps reaching higher and higher until about halftime when things meld into something of a melting krautrock melody. There’s an organ, waves, and a bit of sci-fi psychedelia in the mix.
Every Star a Conscious Being reminds these aged ears of classic time machine requiem, with a dose of Vangelis for good measure. Its suspended chords are super stretched and buoyant and it drifts on like an elapsing mind eraser over seven minutes until the third and final track, Amaterasu (Goddess of the Sun, the most sacred of Shinto deities). The rhythm is calming, rather content, but there is a gentle rise. The sustained hypnotics last until a break where the atmosphere gets much more interesting, and a little trippy. This dips into Douglas’ past but sounds a lot like the next gen who are mindfully bringing back these abridged gaming sounds in a completely new (sometimes retro) context. But I’m not getting a “hipster alert” while playing this – it seems far more sophisticated than 90% of that which imitates the original. Instead the deeper you listen you make your own visual connections – for me, this is a synthetic koi pond where raindrops are like pixels, after all the maker got his inspiration from the towering mountains of Japan.