Drowner is a proggy, drony, shimmery ensemble ringing out beautiful NuMusic with firm roots in celestialized chant and plainsong crafted through heavenly fields amid cloudbursts and slow warm rains. They produce the sort of artcrafting one finds so engaging whenever John Orsi's (Knitting by Twilight) partner Karen stepped into the studio or onto the stage in several incarnations. Drowner, however, is imbued with a far more ghostly otherworld vibration, the sort of sound that makes brains begin to effervesce in narcotic soma-bliss as spirits leave bodies and float upwards to the ceiling.
There are elements of Mogwai, Sigur Ros, the most ethereal side of Bjork, October Project taken to wispy extremes, farside echoes of Roxy's hedonistic Avalon, and more than a little of the intelligent sophistications of the Secret Eye label. Trapped in a morphing projection field, I had to bolt down a quick Diet Coke lest my body should liquify as I typed this review, deliquescing members and organs running onto the floor, chirographic duties defeated. Stars began floating out of my eyes, nerves unraveling, bones dusting into eddying breezes. No, really Drowner is that transformative.
I love this kind of music. Rain Parade approached it decades ago, a group I still miss, and Sipo took the translucent form to about as far a horizon as it's possible to go, creating a still-unknown but raging masterpiece. Drowner's much more sedate but just as pellucid and deep, steeped in ancient pastoral majesty, lost Piranesian space architecture. Highly muffled aspects of Eno, Neu, and Cluster waft through the landscape as well but never so you'd be able to shake hands with those guys, instead just smiling while slipping back into lethean ensorcelment and gauzy sleepy-bye visions. Had this come out in December 2011 instead of January 2012, it would definitely have made my Top 20 List.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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