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Darkroom:A Dreamy Blend of Textural Guitar and Electronics

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DARKROOM Gravity's Dirty Work (DDL on Darkroom)

This release from 2013 features 60 minutes of moody atmospheric music.

Darkroom, a British electronics duo, is: Michael Bearpark (on electric guitars, pedals, loops, feedback, and bass), and Andrew Ostler (on synthesizers, keyboards, and programming). They are joined on certain tracks by: Rekoob Werdna (on cymbals), Simon Taylor (on trumpet), Simon H, Fell (on double bass), and Andrew Booker (on percussion).

Gentle electronics and atmospheric guitar tones deliver a rewarding dose of ambient tuneage.

While electronics are employed, the key instrument in this music is guitar. Predominantly, the guitar plays a gentle role with tonal sustains that establish dreamy vistas of smooth definition. These textural threads undulate softly, creating atmospheric passages of shimmering beauty that serve as a suitable foundation for the equally ethereal electronics.

At times, the guitar rises to achieve more than a tonal presence. Strummed chords stretch the harmonic structure into crystalline melodic territory. These more traditional guitar contributions lend a lilting humanity to the tunes with their often twangy resonance.

As mentioned, the electronics are secondary, functioning in support of the tonal guitar with their vaporous definition. On occasion, the electronics rise to a subtle blooping character that boosts the vitality of some of the tunes.

A degree of percussion is present, but generally relegated to the background, serving to generate fragile rhythms which contribute more as hints of tempos than as any propelling force.

These compositions are designed to establish passive soundtracks for the listener, tuneage rich with a dreaminess. They instill a infectious calm more than inspiring any introspection, though. While the overall temperament of these tunes is distinctly gentle, at times the instruments evoke a certain yearning that tends to exemplify an undercurrent of intensity locked beneath the surface.

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DARKROOM Rhombus (Film Soundtrack) (DDL on Darkroom)

This CD from 2013 features 49 minutes of evocative electronic music.

The first track combines an assortment of haunting woodwinds with a pulsating electronic oscillation that continues to echo throughout the piece. Ambient guitar tones flesh things out with their seesaw resonance.

In the next piece, the guitar pursues a plucky sound in tandem with some backwards noises to achieve a sort of melodic discord.

Track three utilizes a variety of buzzing sounds with hints of burbling fluids to evoke a moody of nocturnal omens.

The fourth tune seethes with eerie guitar tones swimming in an ethereal pool of churning ominous electronics. Gradually, the guitar sneaks in some twangy chords to punctuate the dark pastiche with a twinkling presence.

Track five introduces some harsh electronics to the gaseous fog of textural guitar, resulting in an edgy temperament enhanced by buzzing pulsations. The composition eventually slips into a more sedate (yet still agitated) state, becoming almost dreamy (although in a tense sort of way).

The next piece continues in this discordant manner with a selection of radio samples interspliced with growling oscillations and bursts of hoarse static. Slowly, an electronic bath seeps in to temper the harshness, generating a cloudy sense of portentous implications.

The last track sees a reprise of the first song's meshing of woodwinds and guitar tones, this time flavored with an undercurrent of flowing soft electronics.

This release offers a progression of gentle ambience leading to grinding discord, establishing a sense of dreamy sedation followed by a pinnacle of rousing agitation.

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