Dark ambient has often missed becoming a necessity of expression beyond a futile facade, a reality that Fydhws from Macedonia counters with reputable skill. Drones here are covers removed from the bed, leaving a naked machine body of haunting piano playing and gongs in the forefront of vision. The Macedonian titles are translated on Bandcamp with a sense of twisted philosophy: “Midsummer Day’s Dream”; “Nothing Is What It Used To Be, And Yet Everything Is Still The Same” in particular. Through a concerted effort in dense layering, Fydhws succeeds in creating an unsettling, rewarding LP that is surely one to be remembered.
Tremolo is a specific part of the activation triumvirate, made up otherwise of gothic instrumentation (creaky ol’ piano; cello; violin; gongs) and lolloping phrasing, recalling James Leyland Kirby’s “Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was” LP. “Lullaby”, track 7, is one of the most cathartic after “Stardust”, track 5. Greg Haines’ aftermath of the massive crescendo on “Until The Point Of Least Resistance” as curio. The aforementioned track is very scintillating and purposeful, as if a Martial eagle scoured below the cliffs for fish and came back to its nest hungry. Throughout, tension pervades, like a bone lubricated only by flesh, and the results are abrasive and augmented by struggle. Yet, in all this turmoil, one senses and finally sees a glimmer of hope, a sign that things will change only for the better at a further time.
The music is fairly film score-ish, but sits in its own isolation, neglecting the outside world. It sounds like a troubled mind’s attempt to process itself, and is meant to be listened to from start to finish, as a periodical of 9 movements. Fydhws improves on Kirby’s plinky-plonky style of piano manning with fluent chord progressions and reverberating patterns that kiss the ear like a lover making her silhouette more crystallised in the near distance. Eerie momentary glances with the neoclassical subgenre provide a subductive framing of the material – a “revel in the drama and misery when you’re down to own pieces of happiness thereafter”. Sure, this is depressing music, but Fydhws has a transcendental introspection that defies being a mere downer. “9” is often the number of trauma, and at the least there, he’s given the listener his own contact coda in case of emergency.