Dark and obscure music blog/zine since 2006 [ Post-Industrial / Ambient / IDM ]
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sabled Sun - "2146"

Artist: Sabled Sun
Album: 2146
Year: 2012
Label: Cryo Chamber
Genre: Dark Ambient
Website:  cryochamber.bandcamp.com



2146 is the sophomore follow-up to the acclaimed debut 2145 from this new project of Simon Heath (Atrium Carceri, Krusseldorf, etc etc) and continues the post-apocalyptic storyline that began in the first album. Heath is certainly a very inspired individual, as this album comes a mere 7 months after the debut, not to mention that he found the time to release 2 Atrium Carceri albums and run a label this year! For a lesser musician this would lead to a drastic reduction in output quality, however this proves no challenge for Heath as 2146 is as least as good as anything else he has put out (for reference, AC – Void was an album of the year, imo).
Good stuff:
+ The purpose of this album/project is to provide the soundtrack for a post-apocalyptic world. Now, it seems sort of cliché to describe dark ambient as “music for the end times” or whatever, but there is no better descriptor for this. 2146 is literally THE embodiment of a futuristic wasteland: walking through the twisted rubble of cities; the cold, endless darkness of the innards of destitute edifices; the last bit of electrical discharge from severed wires in a machine shop, etc. Overall there is a very cinematic quality to it, and 2146 should really be the soundtrack to a video game or movie. If you recall the "future" section in Chrono Trigger or perhaps the “Wrecked Ship” area in Super Metroid – this is totally the soundtrack to those places (sorry for the outdated references).
Most of the record is composed of very spacious, droning atmospheres with a plethora of subtle field samples (water, crunching, clanking) which conjures the extreme isolation of being alone after the apocalypse, though there are moments of icy pads and melodies in tracks like “Exo Suit”, “My Dying Robot” and the melancholic closer “End Me” which borders on post-rock. One thing I really liked was how the melodic elements in “My New Best Friend” sound like bleeps and hums of broken electronic devices rather than a keyboard. It is traits like this that showcase Heath’s talent for capturing the essence of a specific place. Like all of his dark ambient work, these tracks are extremely complex with tons of things happening in each, and I definitely recommend listening with headphones to fully immerse yourself in these profound soundscapes.

Bad stuff:
- No hardcopy

This album completely does what it sets out to do. I’m not sure if it’s necessarily “better” than the previous album, but 2146 feels more focused and seems to have solidified a unique sound for the project – rather than bits of Atrium here, bits of Krusseldorf here, etc. If you like darkly vivid, engaging dark ambient and/or any past work of Simon Heath than you will want to pick this up as soon as possible. Not to be missed.

Overall: 9/10 

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