Drifting in Silence, the project of composer Derrick Stembridge, returns with another triumphant adventure into the world of ambient IDM, but this time, Stembridge dug up some toys, old and new, to bring along for the ride. Still perfectly tapping into the dreamy, spacey sound put on display in its previous release, Place in Time, Stembridge has also worked to reincorporating the ambient guitar work seen in the album Lifesounds, as well as some other more analog elements that give the album a depth that may have been missing from the previous release.
While “Until” starts off sounding very much like the mellow work found in Place in Time, when the stringed arrangements are brought into the mix, a commanding gravitas emerges that arrests the listeners’ attention to let them know this album isn’t just more of the same. The heavier focus on bass and glitch in “Faith” and “Parallel” gives the tracks more of an Autechre-like feeling, but both tracks also reach into Stembridge’s bag of tricks and feature swirling drones and uplifting synths that bring a sense of calm to the chaotic glitch and bass. The title track, “Desire” is a distinct highlight of the album, starting off as a moody, melancholy track that slowly builds and morphs, brought to a stirring and passionate head by some gripping ambient guitar work that carries the listener out of the tracks early emotional pit.
With each album, Drifting in Silence has managed to provide a unique and interesting experience and Desire is no exception, marking itself as an exceptional bridge between Stembridge’s previous two releases. This excellent combination of the soaring synth work and weighty and intense guitar and stringed instruments gives the album a more grounded feel that allows it to be emotional and otherworldly while still being gripping and engaging, leaving the listener fulfilled but sorely wanting more as the final notes of Desire pluck away.