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CD Feature/ tho-so-aa: "Dying Reveal"

img  Tobias

It is slightly absurd that Dark Ambient is still looked down upon by the so-called intellectial elite, while drone-related releases are held in the highest esteem. Both deal with the unspoken, the undefined and the space between words. Both concentrate on sound and leave a lot of the typical focal points of Western music (melody and harmonic progression) to the listener’s imagination. And both use a lot of the same elements to acchieve these aims. tho-so-aa is one of those few artists who have managed to bridge the mental divide between the two genres and “Dying Reveal” is a breath of fresh air to both.

Maybe it even comes down to your personal perspective, where you are going to file this – if you really need to: Deep, brooding washes of sound, become almost inaudible as weightless melodic motives, sinister and disembodied analogue stabs as well as disrupted fragments of speech from close-up melt together seemlessly, rocking the music like the pendulum of an old clockwork-Depending on your mood, you can allow this to guide you down the stairway to hell or lift you to a open, psychedelic sphere inside a dense cluster of omnious thunderclouds. The ambiguity does “Dying Reveal” a lot of good, which had been announced as “Just dark...”, but in fact has a lot more shades of black to offer. This is especially apparent on the flipdside, the aptly titled “The Undefined”. An inert  bass pounds relentlessly underneath a subtlely charged electrosphere, while only partially decipherable human voices echoe in and out of conscience. There is a faint, high and discarnate sound hovering above, like the wind tearing at a flag pole at midnight. Tightly crafted, but relatively unsurprising this menacing hymn marches on, until a cut-up sample, reminsiscent of a winching shellac recording of some romantic 40s movie lifts the veil and takes everything to a much brighter and hopeful galaxy.

For ten years, tho-so-sa has released exclusively on the “Art Konkret” label, rising from an unknown tape-artist to a hot insider-tip. With “Dying Reveal” he has hit a temporary celing, which will surely be explored further on future releases. Even if the press continue to label him as “Dark Ambient”, it would be plainly absurd to look down on this genuinely unique stylistic mix.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: tho-so-aa
Homepage: Drone Records

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