Review: Gunshae – Out Of Darkness…Light

Out Of Darkness, Light is airborne, limitless – ecstatically liberated from tension and restraints, propelled into a newfound sense of relief. In some respects it’s the antithesis of “dubstep”, the style of music for which Kuma is renown – the anchorage of low frequency is scooped out and the demand of rhythmic return is relieved, leaving Gunshae to flex and swirl through an infinite, meditative anti-gravity. Perhaps this is Kuma’s counter-balance to the dense gloops of black-matter bass and overbearing smacks of drum machine that comprise his primary music; a means of gaining perspective on his work from the viewpoint of a cloud situated miles above the earth.

The loops are wispy – melodies evaporated into gas and clumped into clouds, cycling like the sonic candles of Steve Roach or Robert Rich. Lady Eve’s oboe is there somewhere too, as smudged strands of woodwind breath wrapped round the electronics. Yet the album doesn’t simply hang within the bliss of indistinction, and the duo use their sound as a multi-functional canvas for various collaborative forces: clarinets that slink through gaseous ambience like an aeroplane vapour trail, poetry that breaths a linguistic ambiguity into the hollow waves, vocals that spiral like an operatic vortex, and droplets of bass guitar that tease the haze into melodic structures. A beautiful array of figures emerge unexpectedly from within the infinite backdrop, with Kuma and Eve warmly accepting of their guests on every occasion.