Review: Illuha - Akari

Illuha - AkariOne second unrolls into a long, levitating minute as I hear a solitary piano note fading into the air around, with all other sounds frozen into quiet as though mesmerised by the graceful decay. Elsewhere, time is overlain at different speeds and in frictional chronology, with a stream of soft electric drones running like a bathroom tap between harp notes that scuttle like a spider evading the flow of water; timelessness intertwined with a mortally frantic moment. The whole thing hovers, cloud-like – cradled by an implied, psychologically fulfilled tonality, tense as though modestly charged with electricity, billowing outward and inward with the frosty scrapes of a field-recorded elsewhere and the hums of my own bodily stasis.

In spite of the space-time confusion, I feel calm. Careless, almost. I pick up fragmentary details and drop them: swapping the confirmation beeps of hospital equipment for a slither of winter birdsong, slurping up reverse bells and then flitting across to see a hard-drive needle stuttering with age, or watching as a piano chord drops like wooden boat debris on a lake. I am rendered curious and blissfully distracted, sucked into the intricate workings of a particular electric glitch while vaguely aware of the flicked guitar strings in my peripheral consciousness. The bustle of sound is constant and intense but it does not demand my attention; I may dissect it by the seams if I wish, or lie upon it and feel its tidal undulations pushing gently against my back. It is a thousand tiny sounds in ecological conversation, and it is a single living entity breathing in and out.