Review: Amute - Bending Time In Waves

HMPTY030_frontThe first track is called “You’re Free Now!”. As promised, I am liberated. Tom drums bound freely like galloping legs, tumbling in time to a piano that gleefully distorts as it spills beyond stereo restraint. It’s a viscerally happy sound, expressing jubilance as much with enthusiastic aerobic gestures as with wide smiles of major key. While the entire record might not remain upbeat, the physicality of the sound is a constant: drones shoot into the air as if from exploding cannons, while the electronics and percussion carry the grain and serration of textures that I can touch with my hands. Even if the surreal eruptions of colour and heady reverb point toward the land of sleep, Bending Time In Waves is undoubtedly one of those dreams that spills beyond the mind’s eye and into the realm of the senses, exciting my receptors of touch and taste.

Because of this, the album seems to reside in the limbo between immaterial ambience and earthly rock. On “Stay As You Are”, a voice pulls apart the rock groove like a pair of curtains – the guitar cuts back and the drums drop away, as an orchestra gushes into the frame like freed sunlight, whisking the soundscape into a blur of bubbles and gentle colour, peppered with the essence of both Americana twang and cockpit electronics. All of a sudden, I’m somewhere else. I lean against the walls and they fall down. I press my feet into the earth and realise that I’m swirling blissfully around the basin of the sky. Songs come and go like incidental shapes in the clouds; chance resemblances to post-rock melody and steady mid-tempo, destined to dissipate and be eternally forgotten. Pianos melt into almost-drones, while lullabies emerge as the pieces of guitar and processed electronics align. It’s a fuzzy memory of a rock record I used to know and love, chopped and twisted by fading recollection, the gaps of forgetting plugged with beams of echo and light.