When “Eltanin and the Old Memories,” the opening track of Inner Trip’s debut release, Somewhere Near the Pulse, glides into a bit of spy-movie-theme song cool, complete with that ever-present twangy guitar sound that apparently accompanies anyone engaged in espionage, it’s clear where the inspiration is coming from and what Inner Trip has planned. Although the Fluttery Records web site notes Somewhere Near the Pulse as post-rock with influences of modern classical and trip hop, I think it’s more contemporary instrumental, and distinctly pushed in the direction of soundtrack material. The stories are very strong here. Inner Trip’s tones and emotions are evocative, and you may find yourself setting up scenes in your head. My mental camera eases across a snow-coated wood when I hear “The Pulse of Nature”; “Moonlight and Her Shoulders” moves from contemplation to reconciliation; “Labyrinth” paces a small, untidy room, knowing something is about to happen–and expecting the worst. Iranian artist Saman N. handles all his instrumentation, whether acoustic or electronic, superbly. The mix is seamless and the range is impressive. He gets bonus points for closing out the disc with the scaled-back atmosphere of “Eternity.” After six larger and bolder pieces, he lays out a sparse, tenuous stretch of sound on the edge of ambient, again showing that mix of solid and synthetic–and once more loading it with feeling. A single, well-spaced and understated thump of percussion ominously marks the passage of time. Somewhere Near the Pulse is a very good debut that speaks of more good work to come from Inner Trip.
Available from Fluttery Records.