Feb 2012 05

Drifting in Silence - LifesoundsDrifting in Silence
Category: Ambient / Experimental / IDM
Album: Lifesounds
Stars: 3
Blurb: Drifting in Silence presents a lively and complex take on ambient work that seems to be struggling for an identity.


Since its debut release in 2005, Drifting in Silence’s Derrick Stembridge has been rather prolific with more releases than years in existence. Mixing aspects from a variety of genres, Stembridge uses any and all tools at his disposal to create a more lively and emotionally evocative brand of ambient music; however this acts as a bit of a double edged sword leaving Lifesounds feeling a little less than cohesive but also prevents it from fading off into a formless background drone.

Starting with the deep sweeping synths, playful high end twitters, and intricate down-tempo style of “Phonetic Reversal” and moving into the more mellow “August” with its subtle dashes of IDM that slowly morph into a lively EBM-lite, it quickly becomes obvious that Drifting in Silence likes to play with genre identities. The aptly titled “Rorschach” evokes vivid imagery with its lonely guitar riffs, pronounced drums, and dreary synths, blending a shoegazer feel with its opening minimal tidbits. “Existence” visits the IDM world again, this time with a more pronounced flair of glitch, while “Tremer” is a quiet and unassuming track that acts as more of a moody, relaxation piece. The album continuously jumps around, mixing and matching style and influences generally very effectively, constantly buffeting the listener and never giving them a chance to settle in and get comfortable with the album.

Without a doubt, the individual tracks of Lifesounds are all exceptionally well done; each acting as an impressive showcase of Drifting in Silence’s skill, but despite the strength of the individual tracks, Lifesounds comes across very weakly as an album. The jarring changes in style work well to keep things interesting, but also work to frustrate as the listener must try in vain to erase the groove of the previous track from their mind before the next begins. It’s hard to fault Drifting in Silence’s noncommittal nature when it shows this much skill, but it also makes it a bit harder to drink it all in.
Track list:

  1. Phonetic Reversal
  2. August
  3. Rorschach
  4. Broken Orchestra
  5. Existence
  6. Tremer
  7. Fixer
  8. Passing Days
  9. Lifesounds

Drifting in Silence Website http://www.driftinginsilence.com
Drifting in Silence MySpace http://www.myspace.com/driftinginsilence
Drifting in Silence Facebook http://www.facebook.com/driftinginsilence
Labile Records Website http://www.labilerecords.com
Labile Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/labilerecords
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Trubie Turner (Flexei)

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