Solar Bears :: Advancement (Sunday Best)

Reversed playback, ambiguous ambience and an emotive shoegaze kaleidoscope are spread about as orchestral arrangements are smoothed into decayed soundscapes of dust and debris.

Solar Bears :: Advancement (Sunday Best)

Time-lapsed audio photography of the cinematic kind is revealed on Solar Bears’ third album Advancement, a sun-soaked macrocosm of electronic beauty. Taking off from their krautrock drenched outings on Planet Mu, here we see a myriad of contrasts and comparisons where Solar Bears (Ireland’s John Kowalski and Rian Trench) manage to elicit a serene landscape lost in time, one that is truly their own.

From 80s-era Depeche Mode inspired synth notes to current-era Boards Of Canada (Tomorrow’s Harvest) dynamics and Tycho infused scenery, Advancement is all of the above swirled into a strange new world. Brisk interludes run parallel with engulfing bass and beat, yet it seems Solar Bears can’t let go of their transcending grip. Minuscule melodies collide with large scale soundtrack motifs of utter brilliance, only to be scaled down to the tiniest musings. Reversed playback, ambiguous ambience and an emotive shoegaze kaleidoscope are spread about as orchestral arrangements are smoothed into decayed soundscapes of dust and debris.

A smorgasbord of sound and image, an emotional power (Kattoo and Syntax come to mind) is painted onto a rich canvass with thousands upon thousands of brushstrokes merging together downtempo nuance and instrumental detail. Solar Bears’ long-term collaborative relationship with American director Michael Robinson—who has created two videos and the artwork for Advancement—is an impacting audio-visual reference for the duo, one that binds this album euphorically.

Advancement is available on Sunday Best.

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