Ben Chatwin – Heat & Entropy

Opening with a melody that would go down easily in a town like Twin Peaks or Wayward Pines, the nightmarish lullaby of Heat & Entropy lights the fuse that sets the rest of the record on fire. The bass does more than shiver; it shudders, close to its breaking point. The music almost rips itself apart, but, as is always the case, a fragile ecosystem must take root if the music is to survive, progress and prosper. Somehow, the major knots and sharp twists find a way to coexist.

Underpinned by an abrasive layer of static, the electronic melodies are planted like inorganic seeds that spread and then ripen when the time is right. Ever-shifting tones constantly move, and they bring with them a dragging, heavy substance. Heat & Entropy contorts itself, the multiple sequences twisting and turning like a nest of snakes, the melodies so flexible they could resemble the boneless bodies of a hundred pythons, their undulating motion rising and then consistently falling. And it’s got plenty of venom in its bite.

Heat & Entropy is a heavily electronic album. It’s a hard-hitter, pulling punch after punch and never missing a trick. Obscured melodies glint like ‘Phantom Lights’ seen across the sunset-soaked waters. Like looking out at French cottages from the cliffs of Dover, the lights are there, and they’re very real. The music is always striving to get somewhere, always building and building until the stress of it all takes its toll and it collapses. Heat & Entropy is on the verge of overloading, fierier than the deserts of Mars.

‘The Kraken’ is another monster of a track, as is ‘Surface Tension’. They nestle in a dark place. Melodies light up and then slowly fade out, and a gravelly feminine voice glitches in and out of the music. Constantly adapting to its new, added layers and intricate synths, the music builds and builds upon mountains of sand, on foundations that crumble away to nothing but dust. An electric guitar’s melodies are left to burn in the background, dissolving into red embers that can only pop and crackle for a very brief time. The wicked, orange sparks that rise out of the fire are the only providers of light. The safety of the piano gives way to the creaking, unhealthy dissonance of the strings, which grinds against the other elements (‘Corpseways’). Heat & Entropy’s swampy electronic tones are always active. Resembling the video game Doom in its disturbing intensity, the music doesn’t let up, emitting the light of a black sun.

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