(Album, 2011) !DSO Recommended!
Sydney-born Aussie Andrew Trail sensibly relocated to England
and began a musical project named Black Light Ascension. Bloody
thrilling it is too. Difficult to see how such a shadowy sound could be
produced under a blazing antipodean sun. Makes way more sense that this
should emerge from the fog of old London town instead.
to hear a debut created with intelligence but not pretension,
dedication to a world view rather than pander to such transient
trivialities like fashion or trends. That Trail comes out of the now
defunct 'organic industrial' outfit Knifeladder goes some way to
positioning the approach taken with Black Light Ascension. Its equally
sombre (though more post-punk) attitude draws on the extremes of basic
human conditions like love, sex and death and fuses them with a
fascination with the hidden agendas of covert government operations.
Combine all of that with the application of minimalist instrumentation
that structures seriously alternative (and slow) 'pop' melodies around
an ever-present bass guitar, analogue synths and an uncontrollable
desire to forge repetitive patterns, and you have the soundtrack to a
gloomy netherworld where thin clouds slice through the eye of the moon.
Choice hypnotic cuts include the slow-burn (and perfect
scene-setting) opener ocean, the representative your time, the hallucinogenic the dream and epic pagan anthem
killing cycle that closes proceedings. An unreservedly welcome addition
to the world of smart dark music. 8/10
Rob Dyer (December
(early) Cabaret Voltaire