I’ve always been fascinated trying to work out when the best time to listen to drone is. It’s hardly the sort of stuff you need on your morning commute to jolt the senses awake and enliven you to perpetuate capitalism. Perhaps the afternoon? Biorhythmic carbohydrate crash usually prevents this for me. So the evening seems ideal? Well possibly, unless you are gearing up for a ‘night out’ (remember them?)
After listening to and absorbing (for that’s what you do with this album) Oh/Ex/Oh’s Extant I realise that I’ve been focusing my fascination too much on the daily cycle. Instead, I should have been thinking longer time scales as it seems the new calendar year is the best time for drone. January, with its temperatures paralysing and its perennial sense of comedown is the time to listen to drone. This is electronic blues for the New Year; blues which manages to hint at a small change in the light and something brighter approaching.
Listened too closely these pieces are interspersed with distanced static or at least a half formed memory of what static might have sounded like. Sometimes these pieces take shape as the hum of some unidentified electrical equipment or the last life gasps of machines fly-tipped in rural lanes. At other times there’s glacial movement and enveloping warmth. There are barely distinguishable sounds drenched in, or perhaps even self-generating their own, reverb. There are spoken samples from film texts that I should know or at least I used to know but now don’t. There is the odd arpeggiator seemingly organised and run by a remote, even astral, hand.
All in all this is the soundtrack to an airborne journey across landscapes waiting for warmth, across beauty, majesty and utter desolation.
That’s my geography trip, what’s yours? Buy.
‘The Last Days’: