Descending low, a slow drone hits the floor, clothes the ground in its wet, cloying fog. It rises in volume and then falls back, a living drone that loops and sticks to the music. She is pursued by the drone, which resembles a deranged stalker, pulsing in irregular, unpredictable intervals. As it oscillates, the drone starts to distort. It picks up speed, rolling on the wild turbulence of the sea, gaining volume and gaining strength. The gritty sediment tears the innocent tone, cutting it with ease and leaving the music with the rough texture of black denim. A deep, throbbing bass settles the music down, sedating her with its stable anchor. Data Trails floats on tropical waters, soaked in blazing sunshine. Her frequency’s tuned to a sister ship somewhere off shore, where the playlist transmits nothing but Radio Amor.
Its bright aquatic line is just barely visible; a sliced shade of Earthly blue that nestles between the sea and the sky. Imprints are in the blur themselves, somewhere between dissonance and harmony. Clean electric guitar phrases and lilting sequences come to lift the murky atmosphere. Tiny picked patterns emerge out of the growling distortion, healing what was so badly broken. And it would seem that the electric guitar is the perfect conjurer, the perfect healer. The clean tones come to relax the body and the soul, but with the stomp of a pedal the atmosphere rips itself apart, stabbing the serenity with rusty razors. Electricity rattles around the music, lightning bolts that assault the drone.
The three men ‘battle with gear’. The heavy workload keeps the sound active and alive. They grapple with the noise and then reel it in as and when they need to. For instance, the slow, intoxicating beauty of ‘White Russian’ has to walk tentatively past the opening electronic interference and subsequent rage of noise before it is suddenly extinguished, like a flame to the breeze. Sedate ambient is all that’s left, and it leads to its stunning panorama. It isn’t free from the violation of static, but as it rises up, the musicians quickly push it back into the abyss. The struggle is there as they tame the beast. The rumbling bass vanishes, only to come back stronger. Static grinds alongside it, but the sedate tones aren’t far away – and this time they have the victory.
Their battle has ended, and it’s left a calm ambient current behind; the sea couldn’t be any smoother. The light aquamarine of the loop is a one way trip to tranquility. This leads to ‘The Sea & Electricity’, which is a good way of summing up their music. Static creeps around, dialing in on a lost frequency. Little electronic circuits, on their own voyage, seem to come from the same transistor radio, the same sister ship in the harbor. The sea has a couple of different personalities, too. One side of the blue has a calm influence upon both the water and the shore, and another side loosely resembles a psychotic killer.
The drums lead the track forward, and at this point the music has a real ‘connected’ feel to it. It feels like an instrumental track more than an experimental loop. It juts out of the album like a harbor at dawn, leaving us to wonder if this slight change of direction will, in the future, become a permanent one. It’s a stunning touch, a final piece of music that sets in motion a new beginning, a light that jets out of the music with the force of a tsunami. Peace ultimately reigns, but it’s been a rocky road. Fury has been wiped away, leaving liquid valleys behind; where tears once ran. The blue line separates the sea from the sky, and the peaceful blue of the ocean from the grey thoughts that linger high above. By the end, the early fog has cleared and a beautiful day waits up ahead. Imprints use tape machines, homemade pedals, synthesizers and mixing desks, but add to this the scars left by copious amounts of feedback, some pedal-steel guitar and some live sampling and you have an electric sound that is always on the brink of flirtatious romance or complete and utter annihilation.