Ehsan Banitaba | In Parallel
Focused Silence (CD/DL)
In an attempt to make spiritual electronic music Iranian composer Ehsan Banitaba brings his own spin to the genre on In Parallel. The recording is broken into two tracks that run just about a half-hour in length. Banitaba invites the listener to question “if we are in a universe created and built by just immutable scientific principles or if there is a god beyond all of our experiences?”
In Étude 1 – Do just eternal principles exist or is there a God beyond, the listener is offered numbing ambient undercurrents (watery passages and all) and layers of squeaky effects like tiny tapping on metal and a looming storm of drone. As the roar rolls out the simpatico moves in via the shadow of a blurry synthesized organ. Banitaba’s style is more abruptly paced than much of similar within the genre of ambient/drone, and in this way he builds, slows, and extends upon pleasing harmonies that sound as though they are below the surface. And as the ground swells below, so do the skies above, as he literally contorts the acoustic light from bright to murky and back again.
The tones just glide in rain, wind and fleeting detritus and as the owl hoots assorted sound effects dance with a visceral crackle. The only somewhat similar sound to this may be a more abbreviated Netherworld. Though the composer’s lows dig into chasms of watery depth that start to feel quite fourth dimensional towards the end of this phenomenal work of sound art. And ever-do-lightly in the distance you can hear his faint, gorgeous melody fading away.
On Étude 2 – Now is watching us; Now will carry us the opening has Banitaba’s field recordings fully focused by night, and the crickets are in full effect – as are these haunting industrial ramblings. It’s as though two worlds are colliding in a dreamstate. Bark is broken, and creatures loom in the darkness. I would definitely recommend listening to this with some intent volume to get every detail, as there are many small effects laid above and below the central drone. If you like cryptic ambient that dives head-on into elusive grey areas this will most definitely be your cuppa – as it is both hypnotic and weaves its own truth as it continues. It’s like a lullaby, a bedtime story by the campfire, though with a pinch of the unexpected.