Dark, claustrophobic ambient is in store for you on Twilight Transmissions’ Subterranean. This is the musical equivalent of walking through a bad neighborhood in a moonless midnight, assailed by the constant certainty that something bad is going to happen at any moment. Christopher Alvarado takes aggressive beats and makes them plod through the murky sound on tracks like “Palace of Silence” and “Tenebrous.” They’re more like a threat of imminent harm than a rhythm, time signatures stomped out in iron-shod boot-falls. And then there are spaces like “Essence of Dust” and “Eternal Remote,” pieces that exist just to test limits, to put us very much alone somewhere with only unease to keep us company to see what our minds conjure out of the depth shadow. The collection of sound sources at play here make you take notice and drag you in. They’re uncomfortable, mutilated industrial sounds, the collective grinding of rust-aged machinery and jagged edges–dangerously compelling sounds that, craftily modulated and manipulated by Alvarado, keep Subterranean from being just another dark ambient album. A disc well worth enduring, Subterranean will reward you for your bravery with a deeply engaging, if not entirely safe, journey.
Available from Dungeon Recordings.
One thought on “Twilight Transmissions, Subterranean”
Chris Alvarado has always been a man ahead of his time.
Just so you all know, he was doing this “back in the day” and it has been really fun to see the scene that he has created grow like a friendly kudzu across the country.
As a fan, I feel I have to say that the sounds, concepts, and emotion behind his music has shaped the sound of urban experience for me. I go through my daily life with the echo of his plain simple truthful statement of reality ringing in my head.
This artist is a person who is not afraid to FEEL.
All of us go through dark times. What matters is constructing something from it, owning it, and making choices that are often based on dubious conclusions that our minds and the laws of physics and chemistry dictate.
Chris’s music reminds me that I have feelings and I need to make a choice about those feelings.
This band puts me on the edge of choice. And I have no choice but to feel.
I choose to live : it isn’t easy.
Thanks Twilight Transmissions!!