Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Old Tower "Stellary Wisdom" (2018)


Stellary Wisdom is another two track release from the Dutch Dungeon Synth composer Old Tower. Both of the songs that make up this release clock in at fifteen minutes, both traversing their individual phases with fade outs and blunt transitions yet this time they blur the lines as the mood is held firmly together in its couple of angular shifts. This release is distinctly different from the low-fi and dingy realm of Spectral Horizons. It deploys the same grandiose strikes of gongs and has a similar compositional attributes yet Its clearer production and aesthetics lets the wave forms of synthetic instruments strike their own mystery and intrigue with soft reverbs and sweeping transformations of oscillation in lengthy notes.

Its minimalism is far more obvious as much of the record is propped up on one or two synths. It always seems to have the right texture to evoke a much deeper atmosphere than one might presume. The first track closes its quarter hour duration with an oddly airy, knife like synth cutting through the silence with its bleak and metallic tone that whirls like a mechanized wind, yet created by no one. The value of craft is not to be understated as the aesthetics play a huge role.

A shift in tone is felt as the following title track opens with softer wave forms and light chorals. It finds its way to a lengthy passage of minimalism where once again just two instruments resonate of one another with a spiritual meditative state that embraces its bleak loneliness. One can envision themselves as a sole conscious entity, roaming the endless beauty of mother nature in the peril of this unending burden.

This is quite possibly my favorite Old Tower release, its spell seems to be far more encompassing and with every spin I find a meditative state in the wake of its softly droning synths and slow atmospheric brooding. It comes close to tapping into some of the minimalist magic I first heard by Burzum with his tracks Tomhet and Rundgang Um Die Transzendentale Saule Der Singularitat. Its a particular spell I rarely hear musicians come close to. They may have the charm of bonds formed with firsts and youthful freshness but I do hear creaks of that charm in the lengthy passageways of minimal construct on this record. That is a positive thing to say the least.

Rating: 7/10

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