Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.
There is a revitalizing, vibrant livelihood at home in the melancholy tones of Life in the Dark. ‘The Sunya is Rising’ gave us a refreshing twist to Nadja inspired tones, swathes of morning and noon atop some context of drone. ‘Limbs in Gloom’ housed a vastly different tone: eclipsed synth passages of Lynchian intensity, catatonic beauty. Both, in their own, unique way – ethereal and reassuring hymns: sugar coated in a healthy dose of melancholy. Always welcoming a unifying beauty, a sincerity unmatched in fields of hopeless dark. The latest release ‘Hushed Bloom’ continues down corridors dark and unknown in search of this texture. In search of new expressions for his project, Zen cites ‘Red House Painters, ‘Loveliescrushing’ and ‘Kevin Drumm’ as influence.
The two most succinct and deserving descriptions of this tape can be found on the cover: ‘Life in the Dark’ and ‘Hushed Bloom’. Zen’s vocals play a prominent role in the development of the opening track. Fractured drums echo and cascade beneath murky voices and the violent, emotive wails of guitar. It is a gradual unfolding pushing against the current. A struggle to accept death? The first melancholic realisation of the hermit? Accommodating suicide? The inclusion of a Sylvia Plath poem this time around (Anne Sexton’s ‘The Fury of Sunrises’ set the tone for ‘The Sunya is Rising’) furthers the melancholy vibrations that lie at the heart of this project. Completely mesmerising and almost identical in its tone and feel; these poems by damaged, frail effigies refine and deepen the ambience. They are at home.
The latter half of ‘Hushed Bloom’, appropriately titled ‘Comadeth’, is a much darker lifeform than any previous ‘Life in the Dark’ entity. This is dark, heavy ambient. Feedback and burrowing synth our lone companion through this claustrophobic journey. The only traceable human remains are buried low in the mix: a despondent female voice provides a mild distraction. ‘Hushed Bloom’ is a brilliant new thread intertwined in the rich tapestry of Life in the Dark. Zen draws inspiration from places close to his heart. Places equally beautiful and brutally condemned. A brilliant piece of catharsis as effective at moving the listener as it undoubtedly moved the composer during creation. Keeping the music personal, reflective, open to ideas and development – ‘Life in the Dark’ is the companion to those indescribable, late night thought circles.
Available now and limited to the ultra small run of 25 from Sunyata Recordings.