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Aarktica - No Solace In Sleep

  by Andrew Carver

published: 17 / 12 / 2001



Aarktica - No Solace In Sleep
Label: Silber
Format: CD

intro

'Aarktica' is the work of one John de Rosa, and eight distinct instrumental pieces performed on a guitar with a sound so processed it usually doesn’t sound like a guitar. The CD as a whole gives o


'Aarktica' is the work of one John de Rosa, and eight distinct instrumental pieces performed on a guitar with a sound so processed it usually doesn’t sound like a guitar. The CD as a whole gives off a chilly feel — and not just because of emotionally frosty song titles like 'The Ice (Feels Three Feet Thick Between Us)'. The album cover of a single silhouetted figure, out of focus against a flat black plain under a grey-blue sky, also sets the mood. It is significant that De Rosa produced the album during a long convalescence from a serious illness. The first work, 'Glacia', is a series of long shimmering notes that merge and flow at a stately speed — it evoked a visual metaphor of being inside an icy cavern while huge blocks of coloured light are projected on the surfaces, slowly rising, changing and overlapping. On the next track'“Indie', the notes are briefer, sounding like a piano on heavy sustain played on a crackly phonograph record. A beat comes in to chop through the reverberating notes at the 2:30 mark ... or perhaps it’s some deep-buried heart throbbing away. De Rosa keeps the listener’s attention by keeping things diverse. The sounds on other tracks become more or less distinct (in particular, on 'Welcome Home', a track which wouldn’t disgrace a Roy Montgomery album, the guitar is identifiable). On some it seems like there’s only one interest, on others there’s several; sometimes the music is more organic, at other moments it sounds electronic, as on 'Inebria' (a track whose long hollow howls made me think of the soundtrack to Dr. Who — ideal music for trudging through a gravel pit masquerading as some desolate alien world). Top marks to De Rosa for creating such a smartly arranged and emotive series of sound sculptures. Any musician who wants a primer on how to use repetition without succumbing to predictability could do a lot worse than checking out 'No Solace.' This album belongs in the collection of lovers of melancholy and solitude — it will fit neatly next to their 'Dutch Harbour: Where The Sea Breaks Its Back' soundtrack and Montgomery albums.



Track Listing:-
1 Glacia
2 Indie
3 Elena
4 You Have Cured A Million Ghosts From Roaming In My
5 Inebria
6 The Ice (Feels 3 feet Thick Between Us)
7 Welcome Home
8 I Remember Life Above The Surface



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In Sea (2009)
Evocative ambience and electronica on sixth album from Aarktica, the project of enviromentally concerned and largely deaf New York-based musician Jon DeRosa


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