Sep 2011 26

Kearley - Sky in the MoonKearley
Category: IDM
Album: Sky in the Moon
Stars: 3
Blurb: By cluttering wide open audio expanses with glitch-laden electronic tomfoolery and sporadic organic instrumentation, Kearley creates a claustrophobic ambient affair.


Dan Kearley, an electronic manipulator in several sonic disciplines, has released the follow up to his acclaimed release, Douglas Channel. This time around the Vancouver, Canada native reveals a musical palette that embraces elements of dub, glitch, synthetic sound washes, ambient soundscapes, and glimmering entries of various organic string, wood, and percussion instruments. The resulting disc, Sky in the Moon is a journey through time and space, ambient in nature that leans towards breathtaking but fails to come to full fruition. With each track telling a story, the intelligently designed structures balance on natural spaces and surroundings as they are punctuated, dashed, and sometimes obliterated by synthetic sounds and samples. These are lighthearted excursions that tempt the imagination while challenging the mind.

IDM is the thinking man’s soundtrack, and this disc falls deeply within those chosen structures. With nine tracks (10, if you include the 50 second title track interlude) of expansive musical soundscapes, Kearney attempts to merge three distinct worlds together. The first world is that of blissful ambience, resonating with light strings, subtle contextual drones, and spatial synth washes. The second world is that of electronic instrumentation, replete with awkward glitches, low entry dubstep, chaotic or strategic sampling, and industrialized keyboard entries. The final world is that of the organic, whether that is through traditional instrumentation or the use of captured environmental sounds. All of this comes together to give the listener an experience that taps into moods while revealing empty aural spaces and filling them.

Unfortunately, what could have been a truly astonishing audio adventure turns in to an unintentional (or is it intentional?) listening experience, reliant upon pushing and clawing away at the sounds thrown around in its mostly chaotic form. The ambient experience isn’t soothing or rewarding, and instead becomes stifling and unsettling. Luckily the songs actually go somewhere, so there always seems to be a means to the end. On the bright side, the production is crisp and airy, so for the audio enthusiast, this could come away as a true diamond in the rough.

Track list:

  1. Buried Forest
  2. This is the Sea
  3. June
  4. God be God
  5. Don’t Look Down
  6. Sky in the Moon
  7. Shutting Down Your Sleep
  8. Drag
  9. Capture and Treatment
  10. Slightly Scattered

Kearley Website
Kearley Bandcamp
Kearley SoundCloud

Purchase at:
Amazon MP3


Joseph Graham (ChromeSkinJesus)

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