Lawrence English :: Cruel Optimism (Room40)

The album is developed as one long epic atmospheric suite where soothing peaceful passages are punctuated by vertiginous emotional moments of melancholic beauty.

Lawrence English is one very productive and important artist in the late development of modern days experimental ambient music. Among other things he is also the founder of Room40 label. Wilderness of Mirrors is probably the one album I’m most familiar with, consequently this new release is the opportunity to discover more materials from the Australian sound designer.

Cruel Optimism is one convincing work which consists of deeply emotional and grainy ambient dronescapes. “Hard Rain” is a subliminal and transporting piece, pure vertical listening experience with entrancing drone sequences, chilling noisy interference’s that will ravish your ears. Similar attempts in cold, contemplative and brainy ambient music can be heard in the work of Rafael Anton Irisarri, Tim Hecker, Troum and Shrine. Majestic, darkened, fuzzed out industrial noises are going into resonance with brooding tone colors, ghostly voices (as in “Moribund Territories”) and continuous sound forms. The album is developed as one long epic atmospheric suite where soothing peaceful passages are punctuated by vertiginous emotional moments of melancholic beauty. An exquisite cinematic, fragile and tragic track such as “Somnambulist” sums up it all.

Cruel Optimism is a quite powerful and near transcendental ambient noise album that will easily seduce fans of isolationist dark ambient music as well as sonic electronic meditations. Among the best discoveries of the last few months.

Cruel Optimism is available on Room40.

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