Drone-based dark ambience that is strictly created through emotional interests rather than those of the intellect has always been a bit of a gamble for me. Most of the absolute worst music in the genre comes from these artists whom appear to get so lost in their own chaotic existence that they lose all sight of what genuine quality is. Any fan of the genre has undoubtedly come across a few of these types in their search for new music and found themselves shaking their head in confusion. Mytrip‘s new offering on Worthless Recordings, Scattered I, follows an uprooted path down that seemingly endless corridor, but manages to avoid the black abyss of failure that lies in wait at the end of the tunnel. In fact, if anything, this one-man drone unit has managed to create a path out of the darkness and towards one that is walked by very few into an ascended creation. This tape is immediately made special prior to the experience within the music because of a booklet of paintings that have been specifically created for Scattered I by Iulia V., whom created them during her own experience whilst allowing her inspiration to take flight through the music.
I’ve no doubt that it is mostly the paintings speaking, but Mytrip’s path seems to cross that mystical journey that Tor Lundvall has long been on — except as Lundvall appears to represent the hidden side of the colorful, tangible world around us (as augmented as he makes it appear through the eyes of the Spirit, as I’ve always seen it), Mytrip, at least within this cassette, appears to operate from a foundation of surrealism — or perhaps even hallucinations that have been brought on by emotional exhaustion. Either way, the sounds encompassed here exist beyond the generic spherical/spacey side of dark ambience, as the artist fixates on elements of electronic experimentation and field recordings. Those elements enhance the tense, brooding drones that build up as the backbone of each track — gentle background oscillations lull the listener towards meditation whilst the layering does its job, either adding to the temporal nature of the track through faint visions of reality, or turning the music towards something more abstract if not malevolent.
The opener, “September Nothing”, is the best example of the former, leaving our world behind as only distant bell tolls are present to remind us of the arduous Autumn paths that led to the coming darkness. “I am Abandoned” and “I am Cancer” are two sides of the same madness, with the former reaching outwards, accusingly pointing a gnarled finger towards the shadows in disgust. That same mental dissonance is turned inwards with “I am Cancer”, however, as the true impression of abandonment takes hold. The composition is desolate, filtering droning roars like haunting disembodied voices beneath subtle fragments of memory such as the heavy beating of a wooden door or the ephemeral faint echoed beep of a heart monitor. The closer, “Abstinence Insects”, is equally impressive and disenchanting. Surrealism takes full form in this track as a bass-end drone wanes and waxes like a ship in the distance while high-end electronic noises dot the composition sporadically, sometimes uncomfortably screeching. When a sudden cavernous drone rushes in and washes all other aspects of the track under its deep electronic waves, the song truly takes form and becomes somewhat of a nightmarish atmosphere, but prior to this I found myself bored if not irritated by the listless high-end noise that seemed to have little to do with the atmosphere outside of the obvious comparison to insect chirping. This, on top of the confusing title, which is mirrored by the least impressive painting in the booklet.
For a still emerging Bulgarian act, I can’t help but see this as an impressive offering. The mood of the music is nearly perfectly represented by the included paintings as they merge from brilliant crimsons and oranges into teal and green. These are the landscapes of the unconscious, drenched in the ever-shifting flux of memory. Misshapen and distorted, forever scarred and disjointed by future and present events until they are only vaguely indecipherable. This young act certainly must grow and evolve to become a recognizable name in the genre, but the potential in this release cannot be ignored.
01) September Nothing
02) I am Abandoned
03) I am Cancer
04) Abstinence Insects