Geophonic Records has released the latest ambient record from Aperus (Brian McWilliams) entitled Lie Symmetry (CD/DL). With the additional mastering assistance of Ron Sunsinger, Jan Roos and Jason Goodyear the recording took two years to complete. The eight tracks kicks off with VLA 1, and we are in a hollow tunnel with low range drone tones and perplexing electronic effects. A beat is formed from scaly parts/pieces, rattles and crunchy walkie talkie voices. Frozen, Broken begins in buoyed silences, just like being on a harbor just before high tide on an overcast day. The wind is slowly growing, and the chime is cast, fronting the long line of coastal space. The reverberation on When The Mountains Wear Black Hats changes the atmosphere even moreso to one casting spirits, conjuring memory, and otherwise filling in a blank scape with line sketches of what may estimate a horizonline. It’s pure, raw, ambient.
Drums and strings elevate the air with a new rhythm in tribal shades on Himalaya. There’s a folky awkwardness to the twang of the track, as its courted by minimal effects. The repetitive wooden percussive elements of VLA 2 balance a sober sensibility with a touch of mid 90’s Stars of the Lid. It’s a disquieting track, shaded in ochre hues. Then comes a shift via Marsh Lake, October, it’s a specious soundtrack, an illuminated scene from a ghost story that’s part low-fi dissonance and obliquely misshapen. A long hall of enigmatic echoes and muffled motors.
In the final stretch comes the low roar of Ephemeral River. Paced diaphanous layers of drone build gradually as new percussive details are transmitted. The roar grows, and recedes. A certain sense of power looms yet seems ruptured. In the finale with Unfrozen, Unbroken – the supposed polar to the earlier track Frozen, Broken – a lightness by this opposite starts to dawn. Are we coming to or going away from the shoreline? It’s hard to determine, but the ambiguity gives this its strength and character. It releases with it a certain sense of unrest, finding a quiet, self-reflective end.