Visions | Temples
Cyclic Law (CD/DL)
The latest from Frederic Arbour, here aka Visions, is his latest disc, Temples. It is an atmospheric, almost gothic drone that emits through the air like microscopic droplets. Traces, which leads the charge builds adroitly in a dappled haze. Said to be a “hymn to lost civilisations” it finds its magical spot on the map, even if the topography is long gone. Honestly, this is a haunting selection, more supernatural than blood curdling, that uses nuanced sonic synths to guide and glide – like the echo of a whisper.
The enormous and amorphous abyss that Arbour is conjuring is shaded in countless trace shades of grayness. You are at once listening, and falling, and absorbing the litmus test of empyrean space. And once a morphing piece like Lamentation takes hold, its gentle overlapping ascending/plunging synths openly wafting, you may as well “give yourself over to absolute pleasure”. Sure, I’m being a little cheeky, but it surely helps my equilibrium stay somewhat composed given the deep mood of meditative euphoria emanating from the two channels before me in the moment.
This is the type of recording that should be regulated like a hallucinatory substance, it is that effective, and affecting. Though it may easily be marketed by some as ‘dark ambient’ these olde ears hear beyond the tropes and the labels, even when the cadences are at their darkest and most ‘industrial’ on Ultima, where the velocity rides high. Temples at this point starts its central climb, an immersive avalanche of neural implausibilities, with a twist of understanding how to sculpt powerful (bulbous) sound into something to both contend and reckon with. The title piece then protracts some of the previous roar with a smeared frequency seemingly obfuscating part of the history and leaving no trace.
Though nothing in the reading materials spells it out, my guess is this is highly conceptual record that flexes its darker side once again on the dank droning Aura. A chamber, like a funnel, methodically channels the low-profile whirr into a vortex of empty caverns, slowly filling with a plumage of nebulous intonations. And as we arrive at the last track, Continuum, the former buzz becomes far more hivelike. This effect is then replicated until you are experiencing a bit of a mirage, a doppelganger, circulating ’round with a sense of conductivity, ultimately fading into a glorious froth.