Review: Monochromie – Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep

The chords of “A Cold Sunset” surge into the air like chimney smoke, suddenly released from strict shape and yet still bearing the remnants of form; songs caught in the act of illustrious blossom, spilling over the lines yet still driven upward by their own glorious, optimistic intent. What would otherwise be serene, pale-shaded drapes are gifted grit and attack by the distortion that rubs up against the record’s more ambient tendencies – the immaculately glacial becomes a web of cracked ice and dizzying light patterns, instilling each piece with an imperfection that lures me into an implied drama and history, emblazoned on each texture as an inevitable, time-induced decay.

I am reminded of Ben Frost and Tim Hecker for the music’s tension and juggling of opposing forces – the utilisation of an ambient core to explore restrictions of movement and fizzy chemical reactions rather than just reclining into unimpeded liberations of harmony and space. It’s symphonic, orchestral – intricate for the various melodic cogs that comprise each gesture, yet stifled by Monochromie’s noisier inclinations, like rays of sunlight filtering intermittently through the hairline fractures in storm clouds (and often vice versa). There is a visceral connection here – hands clutching at my shoulders – yet a certain spiritual lure, too. It’s difficult to describe.