Sundrugs is a fascinating discovery, and Hidden Scenes is an absolute peach. Sublime, enveloping soundscapes are fused with the deep tranquillity – and some kind of sadness - of shipwrecks long buried at the bottom of the ocean. The alias of Patryk T Kawalarz, Sundrugs is the new kid on the ambient block, but it is one that has had its past share of tragedy, and has matured well before her years because of it. Remember the name.
Sad, longing atmospheres are able to form vague shapes that were once recognisable, trailing through an ethereal, clouded mist. Harmonies that were once full of life now settle into a still melancholia, but in the eyes of another they could seem deeply comatose. Melodic passages are submerged underneath the thickest of drone, enwrapping and consuming all melodic clarity until she becomes a ghost of herself. In the same way that Belong fill their atmospheres with a gorgeous swish of deep, muddied texture, Sundrugs occupies a space that is halfway between the hope of heavenly ascension and the sadness of current situations; realistic prospects that have been crushed by physical restrictions, and heart-broken burdens that feel like heavy anchors to the soul.
Open skies and open spaces greet Hidden Scenes, but they are the kind that seem to waver in front of the eyes, as if we were looking up above from the deep. You can almost feel the currents as they sweep you along on deep, ambient drifts. Swimming through this ambient land, a faded majesty emerges; echoes of past glory, now smothered, flitter through the stream; the highs and lows breath through the wash of ambience. ‘Radio Depth’ contains what could be a hidden SOS signal, transmitted as if it was discovered on board a once-lost ship, or the last contact made via a desperate radio signal that has been recently found. One last cry for help or assistance. Diving into the depths, the rust-encrusted ship is discovered along with the signal, which continues to haunt the present like an unearthed black box recording.
The deep is also unpredictable, and lively despite its ambient state, where atmospheres can suddenly cave in on themselves – ‘If You Call That Living’ – crumbling as if they were an avalanche of tears in an ocean full of salty, cascading water. A once-romantic relationship is now demolished in one swoop; crushed love.
Broader in scope, ‘You Know That Place’ comes in at a mighty 12 minutes. It’s an impressive piece of music that doesn’t lack any confidence or first time nerves. Clarity comes more to the fore, with sharp, glistening tones floating on by like a smooth-to-the-touch swarm of jellyfish; no matter how beautiful they look, the sadness is in their ability to sting, wound and kill in an instant. Beautiful atmospheres send us further along the deep, where a plethora of aquatic life lies hidden away from humanity; in shyness. Our inability to breath any kind of oxygen restricts further passage – this isn’t our realm. And it’s partly because of this that the music becomes so fascinating. It’s a glimpse into a wondrous land, sighted just beyond our limited field of vision and understanding, that we’re not able to fully explore. It’s a distant, vague hope in the distance, muddied by sedimentary rock and a multitude of veiled colour.
Deeper and deeper and deeper we descend; Alice falling into an aquatic rabbit-hole. There’s plenty of air in the deep blue environment, almost as if we are cocooned in a silent bubble, listening to the immersive music that surrounds us. Hidden Scenes is a treasure trove of awesome ambience, breathtaking and mesmerising in equal, dreamy measure; a real voyage into the deep.