Toronto’s ground breaking dark electronic artist Displacer returns with its first full-length album of new material in five years. With Night Gallery, Displacer seemingly built its concept around its title, producing a dark and varied ambient trip-hop work that conjures visions of rainy streets and bustling activity in a nighttime metropolitan cityscape, all viewed through the eyes of grim isolation.
Night Gallery opens with the dreamy “Phantom Limb,” slowly fading in with lonely piano and a subtle rhythm suggesting the lull of travel, and when the track perks up with its glitch and bass, this early suggestion leaves the impression of swirling, bustling activity about a solitary outcast, feeling alone despite the active surroundings. From there, Displacer continues to take the listener on a vivid, melancholy journey that begs for their imagination to run wild. There are moments when the mood becomes less grave on tracks such as “Radioactive” with its peppy beat and “Ghost Planet” with its playful dripping water like synth, but even these tracks still carry with them an underlying weight that makes them feel more like a moment’s breather than a manic change in tone. The only real break in mood comes from the solitary vocal track of the album, “Falling,” which despite the warmth and sweetness of guest vocalist Downhouse, the lyrics themselves come across as spiteful and vindictive, lending more credence to the feeling that the album is a glimpse into a troubled, lonely soul.
Displacer has weaved a smooth and imaginative soundscape with Night Gallery, but its also the sort of album that largely comes across as severely melancholy and sad, leading those looking for a nice album to relax to into a trap that leaves them feeling depressed and drained. Night Gallery is unquestionably a powerful and extremely well done album, but its gloomy overtones are at times almost overwhelming and may be too much for some to find enjoyment in.
Displacer Website http://www.dsplcr.com/
Displacer MySpace http://www.myspace.com/displacer
Displacer Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/displacer/7823393636
Displacer SoundCloud http://soundcloud.com/displacer
Tympanik Audio Website http://tympanikaudio.com
Tympanik Audio MySpace http://myspace.com/tympanik
Tympanik Audio Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tympanik-Audio/137795642739
Tympanik Audio Twitter http://twitter.com/tympanik
Trubie Turner (Flexei)