Broken Harbour - The Geometry of Shadows
Drone, Ambient Are you in a mood of travelling between the stars today? Did you ever think about transferring information between galaxies or even star systems? Is there a possibility to break a speed of light barrier? Even if science cannot supply a specific answer for those challenges, one person has a certain solution already today. His name is Blake Gibson and those themes became a concept behind the third album of his one man project Broken Harbour. I have been following the development of this project for a few years, generating my reports through Brutal Resonance. After his highly acclaimed record 'Gramophone Transmissions' where Blake presented all his shining talent to create wide soundscapes, I was sure that he is able to generate very unusual ideas and exploit them thoroughly with his sound experiments.

With the very first tunes of 'The Geometry of Shadows' I feel a strong change in a musical style. The most significant thing is that the music became much more minimalistic and totally synthetic. The first track "Superluminal" starts with a quiet background hum that runs for around six minutes keeping me in a constant expectation of something to happen, but the changes arrive only by the seventh minute with gentle synthetic loops of an airy space melody. This melody slowly increases its level up to the end of the track creating a hypnotic wave of sound.

I cannot help myself and continue to compare this album to the previous with the second composition 'The Geometry of Shadows'. What I truly loved with Broken Harbor in the past was the effect of an old vinyl record that had been widely used on "Gramophone Transmissions". Today this effect presents only in the second track with a light cracking over constant drones of the same floating melody. Few other effects join the stage somewhere in the middle of the track run like a gloomy bass pulsation, small ticks and clicks and few others. They add a little bit of diversity into a monotonous loop that slowly fades away.

Three following tracks remind me strongly of the early Steve Roach works. The same synthetic minimalistic looping drones; most of the time they play with the sound level and tension and not with specific effects. "Between the Darkness and Light" is generated around the layer of a clear celestial melody floating somewhere between the clouds and the same effect is transferred through "Luminosity" and "Ansible". The music keeps being hypnotic and meditative all the time, but I still feel a lack of depth in it, things stay a little bit too plain and straight forward to me, unable to break some emotional barrier between a sense of one more good album and an amazing creation.

To be honest, I was slightly disappointed by this record. Maybe I expected too much after a very successful 'Gramophone Transmissions' and needed to disconnect from my personal expectations. I have to mention that the move to the field of minimalistic and drone manipulations throws the artist into the well that is already full of great and even phenomenal composers and sets the certain level of expectations. Steve Roach, Mathias Grassow, Erik Wollo, Celler, Robert Rich and many others exploit the genre for more than thirty years already with dozens of good albums and it is extremely hard to compete with their quality and quantity. Though, 'The Geometry of Shadows' is still not bad at all and provides the listener with an hour of fluent spiritual experience between light and darkness, I feel that Blake is capable of bringing a much stronger material in the future. I truly hope to hear from him soon with another portion of ambient explorations.
4
Brutal Resonance

Broken Harbour - The Geometry of Shadows

7.0
"Good"
N/A
Electroracle
Released off label 2012
Are you in a mood of travelling between the stars today? Did you ever think about transferring information between galaxies or even star systems? Is there a possibility to break a speed of light barrier? Even if science cannot supply a specific answer for those challenges, one person has a certain solution already today. His name is Blake Gibson and those themes became a concept behind the third album of his one man project Broken Harbour. I have been following the development of this project for a few years, generating my reports through Brutal Resonance. After his highly acclaimed record 'Gramophone Transmissions' where Blake presented all his shining talent to create wide soundscapes, I was sure that he is able to generate very unusual ideas and exploit them thoroughly with his sound experiments.

With the very first tunes of 'The Geometry of Shadows' I feel a strong change in a musical style. The most significant thing is that the music became much more minimalistic and totally synthetic. The first track "Superluminal" starts with a quiet background hum that runs for around six minutes keeping me in a constant expectation of something to happen, but the changes arrive only by the seventh minute with gentle synthetic loops of an airy space melody. This melody slowly increases its level up to the end of the track creating a hypnotic wave of sound.

I cannot help myself and continue to compare this album to the previous with the second composition 'The Geometry of Shadows'. What I truly loved with Broken Harbor in the past was the effect of an old vinyl record that had been widely used on "Gramophone Transmissions". Today this effect presents only in the second track with a light cracking over constant drones of the same floating melody. Few other effects join the stage somewhere in the middle of the track run like a gloomy bass pulsation, small ticks and clicks and few others. They add a little bit of diversity into a monotonous loop that slowly fades away.

Three following tracks remind me strongly of the early Steve Roach works. The same synthetic minimalistic looping drones; most of the time they play with the sound level and tension and not with specific effects. "Between the Darkness and Light" is generated around the layer of a clear celestial melody floating somewhere between the clouds and the same effect is transferred through "Luminosity" and "Ansible". The music keeps being hypnotic and meditative all the time, but I still feel a lack of depth in it, things stay a little bit too plain and straight forward to me, unable to break some emotional barrier between a sense of one more good album and an amazing creation.

To be honest, I was slightly disappointed by this record. Maybe I expected too much after a very successful 'Gramophone Transmissions' and needed to disconnect from my personal expectations. I have to mention that the move to the field of minimalistic and drone manipulations throws the artist into the well that is already full of great and even phenomenal composers and sets the certain level of expectations. Steve Roach, Mathias Grassow, Erik Wollo, Celler, Robert Rich and many others exploit the genre for more than thirty years already with dozens of good albums and it is extremely hard to compete with their quality and quantity. Though, 'The Geometry of Shadows' is still not bad at all and provides the listener with an hour of fluent spiritual experience between light and darkness, I feel that Blake is capable of bringing a much stronger material in the future. I truly hope to hear from him soon with another portion of ambient explorations. Mar 20 2013

Off label

Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Andrew Dienes

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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Broken Harbour

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