Review: Aires – Fantasmas

Aires - Fantasmas CoverWhat if the sky suddenly shifted in colour? From midday blue to an alien green, with clouds circulating like ink swirling in an unplugged sink? This is what Fantasmas feels like: noise dispersing overhead in strange, unnaturally shaded vapours, blotting out earthly equilibrium and instating foreboding in its place. The harmonics run rife – textures collide and form strange hums of feedback and throbs of tension, whirling above my head shapelessly. Occasionally, daggers of lightning appear: synths arpeggiate frantically or distortion generates sudden flares from nowhere, puncturing the ambience with stark and vivid shape. At other moments, bass drones swarm in like tar-black storm clouds, quietly undermining the sunlight streaming from organs and synthesisers. Is something terrible about to happen?

It’s unclear. In fact, everything is unclear – everything is insidious implication, harmonic contradiction, unfolding prophecy. At one point, a voice emerges from within a vocoder, mumbling a message that I can’t comprehend. At another, a choral drone showers down from above as droplets human breath and harmony, like a church hymn condensed into rain. I remember that human intention resides behind the myriad of vaporous decisions and streams of sound, obscured by the sheer density of transient activity, swept away by the next cloud of texture before I have the opportunity to fully comprehend it. Apparently the album concept takes root in the digital world – the immateriality of the internet age. Just how our lives are swamped by an excess of ideas that bob above the mass and then disappear again, Fantasmas moves at a pace that allows me to speculate but not understand, clutching at the air of thoughts just departed.

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