Not to start a review by calling out a peeve of mine, but: When your album jumps in sounding like a bad edit, there had better be something there that makes me forget about it. Inside the World Machine from Soundchaser kicks me right in the peeve at the start of its hour-plus run before settling into a industrial dronespace that does its best to help me forget about that gaffe. (As always, said gaffe may be quite on purpose and is only a gaffe to my ears.) What follows is a workable exercise in drone, a long beatless drift that maintains a hissing base and a fairly dark tone while it slowly morphs its tonal shape. Artist George De Bruin skillfully handles the piling up and breaking down of layers of sound as he goes along, and in doing creates a balance of truly gritty, harsh industrial textures and less dense, somewhat more floaty passages—there’s never an actual calm moment here, just places where the sound is less assaultive. That being said, I never find myself being compelled to listen, and although I know I’m listening to drone, I kept wanting something interruptive to happen, some shift to something bigger or even more sparse. Either direction would suffice. De Bruin’s work does take on the hypnotic quality we expect from drone, but for me just lacks for those attention-retaining moments. There is a second, “melodic” mix of the track which does much of the same, but with a distinctly brighter tone. (It also fades in more gracefully than the first.)
Those who appreciate drone more than I may find more going on here. I think there’s good work going on, but it’s not squarely in my noise wheelhouse.
Available from Cerebral Audio.