From Cold Spring;
“The darkness here is a consequence of the mood of the artists. Iranian artists have a great difficulty getting the resources to better develop their projects. Despite this, the enthusiasm and will for Iranian musicians to promote their music shines through. The growth of the experimental electronic scene is going to be about more than a mere novelty reaction to a political paradigm shift. (It is) aided by the abstract nature of dark ambient, drone and noise.”
To say that this compilation is diverse or eclectic on so many levels is putting it lightly. Tracks like “Lost” from XXIX present vast and beautiful, sometimes complex soundscapes. Others like “Downtown Valley” from Downtown of HongKong are more intimate and simple. Track 1 from disc 1, “Unforgotten Promises” by Saint Abdullah is a fascinating and hypnotic track (with a subdued Scorn-like beat) that incorporates an array of spoken word samples which bring the listener in further to pay attention. “Longing to Return” is trademark Xerxes The Dark with some of the deepest, most dense drones you may hear. “The Blue Chasm” by SSMP is a very beautiful and uplifting complex track that presents yet another side to the compilation; the need for something to look forward to and believe in spite of a suppressive way of life. That’s a concept that could easily be heard in Reza Solatipour’s track, “Surviving the Darkness.” In cases such as thise, ambient tracks are fused with whimsical blips and tiny bits of noise.
The noise element is quite minimal in this compilation but is perhaps best represented with Narcissa Kasrai’s track, “Articulation” or to a lesser extent Hossein RangChi’s track, “Mute” where minimal wisps and a soft noise wall create a foreground for a haunting piano track.
At the end of the day the Visions of Darkness 2CD set is a really fantastic, diverse collection. Not only does it present a fairly wide array of styles, (ambient, drone, noise, etc. ) but interesting perspectives within those styles as well. These discs are reminders that art transcends cultures and freedom vs. oppression. Nevertheless, this is a great opportunity to get an idea for what some great artists have to offer from an area of the globe you might not have expected. Perhaps most importantly, Visions of Darkness presents an opportunity to let these artists know they will be supported from any corner of the globe.
A very good release from Cold Spring (again).
Visions of Darkness is a 2CD set and is released on 9.25.2017 on Cold Spring Records, 4-panel booklet included.