Map 165

Map 165 - The Fatigue of Sunlight and Wine, tall dry grass in sunlight

The Fatigue Of Sunlight And Wine

Mirages glisten and glow. Up ahead, the hazy, out-of-focus view of a pure, placid lake that can’t possibly be real blurs and produces an aura of white heat. Its fiery tongue flicks up and along the black asphalt of the road. It’s an unreal illusion, but from this distance it’s a thirst-quenching temptation; a forgery written on the sands of the desert. A simulated image that was never there.

You’re tired and thirsty. Map 165 can give you the water (or the wine) that you crave. Soft electronics scurry across the dry soil. Electronics fall and hit the dehydrated earth in steady, irregular rhythms, but they are, in reality, rivers of sweat. “The Fatigue Of Sunlight And Wine” is, at times, hot, clammy music that sticks to its tight tones and its arid, sun-bronzed skin. But it quickly shows its cooler side, too, thanks in part to the cooler timbre of the strings. There seems to be some relief; the music escapes the fierce, dry wash of the sun, retreating as if into a cool ambient cave where the eyes can adjust and the music can darken, like an unexpected solar eclipse. The sky rips itself apart, and the rain falls. The rain is relief, soothing and reviving the music. The hot sands and the sticky climate have fallen to cooler temperatures; rainy season.

‘The Sunshine Slumbered Among The Roses’ lies inside the domed ruins of an abandoned cathedral. Outside, the grass has blackened, but inside the choral ghosts continue to sing their veiled praises to a deity that doesn’t care anymore, that has long departed. Still, the music is lovely — serene, at rest — and you can dream of sunnier times; a time when the light wasn’t so tired.

‘Who Lived So Strange An Abstract Life Of Beauty And Introspection’ is a cooler track. The sunlight fades and we find ourselves in a shady cavern. Dancing beams of light break against the walls and hover over lakes of glass. Cool reflections of pure water gleam and glint, and shallow shapes trickle down the rocky sides. It’s a place of tranquillity. Rippling notes lie in delayed pools of water. The record turns a little darker, shaded by the dim light of the indoors. A piano plays, so deep in its tone it could be resting inside a tomb.

Voices hover in the air. On ‘The Sound Of Your Heart Beating Against The Burning Ground Where You Lie’, the quiet ambient tones swoosh and swoop, cooling the temperature some more. Blood red textures, the colour of midnight wine, drip onto the floor, staining the ambient music with its lengthy sustain and swelling like the red-purple blossom of a bruise. ‘The Colours Hurt My Eyes’ has a lovely arpeggio that rings out freely and ends the record on a positive note. The intervals are wide; as far apart as the Earth is from the Sun. The notes are delayed, just like the faded sunlight that we on Earth receive, eight minutes old. The album started off dry and feverish, but by its end the music has cooled and calmed itself, its blood set and frozen in an icy stasis. The mirage has disappeared, and that unreal glow has faded.


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