Trying to string together words describing Displacer‘s latest is easier said than done, and after having listened to the album several times, each experience sheds a previously unheard layer making it even more demanding to convey. Now, imagine, if you will, a soundtrack to a lost world, or better yet, a colorful universe that continues to expand (as the cover art depicts). This will transition you into the environment that Michael Morton (aka Displacer) creates for each pair of ears to digest on Night Gallery. These mysterious spaces of carefully woven sound, beats and atmospheres, allow Night Gallery to simply ricochet its vibration in the most unique fashion:
Layers of darkened tones are spread throughout, however, the post-industrial insignia associated with Displacer is stripped away in place of a more plasmic flow of evolved production skills.
As a rooted abutment to previous albums, Night Gallery exhibits a cross-section of dedicated audio-visual work encompassing many genre’s bound together in one package. Gliding through a balance of organically-grown mechanical debris including click-hop, post-shoegaze, IDM, techno and noisier (minimalist) structures, Displacer’s latest is a breath of fresh air for 2011. And just as you get yourself settled-in, the electronic engine that drives Night Gallery changes its hum along the way.
Layers of darkened tones are spread throughout, however, the post-industrial insignia associated with Displacer is stripped away in place of a more plasmic flow of evolved production skills. Influences from Night Gallery, the early 70’s television series, are evident as segments of Displacer’s creations are soaked in arcane voids fraught with strands of extraterrestrial blurring and dynamic sci-fi electronics. On various days of the week, Night Gallery literally displaces feelings of enjoyment, wonder and mayhem, as each track pivots back and forth in perplexity. Subtle transitions and an explosive array of sound has Displacer composing years of sonic crafting for Night Gallery‘s highly contagious grooves.
A few ambient interludes (including “Foggy Memory,” “In Limbo” and “Wave”) space-out the chemically rich sound of emotion, chaos, noise and curiosity. These pieces are painstakingly thread throughout Night Gallery and the result is a consistent mirage of overlapping tranquility and confusion. “Ice Cold” is perhaps the defining moment in this pristine summary of music; shoegazed ambient noise and emotive layers slice through the heart alongside dusty drones. Elsewhere, as featured on “Orchid,” sentimental bass lines twirl around an ever-expanding melodic push just as scraped vocal bits reach through to the core. But it’s not all plush electronics here, “Phantom Limb” exudes dark-step bass, beats and distortion as fragments of piano keys shield the overflow of activity. “Radioactive” has a similar appeal in its exterior drill’n bass shell; it breaks down like molten lava slowly taking over everything in its path. “Awakening” further propels Displacer’s knack for beat-oriented piano junctions; it slithers around highly evolved forces of experimental synth and cascading nostalgia. “Falling” will easily appeal to industrial-goth-tech dance floors, and appears (upon first rotation) a bit out-of-place among the lot; it drips vocodered splendor, technoid rhythms and a 4/4 beat that doesn’t let up.
One could go on and on trying to expound on each track as well as its attention to detail, but as mentioned earlier, it’s a lot to digest in one session. Proceed with the patience of repeated listens, it’s definitely worth the emotional investment.
Night Gallery is out now on Tympanik Audio. [Listen | Purchase]