marker - duality
I had no idea two people came together to create marker’s full-length album Duality, so fluid are the themes and sounds. In fact, I had already fallen in love just seconds into smooth “Cold Comfort.” There’s a very earthy tone woven throughout, with the pulsing bass and delicate drums. The vocals are more based on sound than on words, which was a good choice for the overall nuance of the song. This is also a good opening for what’s to come in the album.
Each song has a fresh and unique ambient rhythm that lays a milky foundation for the bolder string rhythms that overlay, providing for almost a solid album of entrancing music. The songs vary in length, theme and instrumentation, though the overall feel and sonic inspiration remains constant. For instance, “The Edge of Forever” has a nice up-tempo, with a more pronounced rock influence. There’s a hint of whimsy in the ambient background, though the guitar slices through it deftly like a hot knife through butter. The drums stand out quite a bit, particularly in the latter half; they take the torch from the guitar to carry the song home.
Then there are the effects in “Cataviña,” a song that groove jams more than anything else. It’s very easy to get lost in this song as it gently rocks with sweet grace. Speaking of effects, I found that “Shallow Water” has some cool sound effects in use that really make it sound like water, complete with melodic ribbits and drip drops. It also has a nice murky feel, which I initially mistook for ironic depth but came to understand more after a few listens.
I like how many of the songs sound like collections of riffs, some of which may have been created in the midst of a jam session or were mistakenly happened upon during the normal course of play. I get this impression from the way they are looped yet still weave from one to the other. “Six o’clock Shadow” is a great example of what I’m describing.
I really enjoy listening to good ambient music, and this album was no exception to the rule. Though I can hear the use of electronic elements to create many of the sounds, this still has a raw edge to it that sets it apart from the other ambient music I’ve heard. In fact, that edge makes it attractive to those who like both ambient sounds and heavier music. I would listen to something like this on my way to work, as something that is both calming yet interestingly energizing at the same time. Sounds contradictory, I know – all the more reason to give this a listen.
5/8/2014 05:13:36 pm
Thanks for the great review Demeria. Glad you enjoyed the album. You can come again!
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