Hailing from Portugal’s Lisbon, comes a very unique album from Aires, a project combining field recordings, drone, ambient and shoegaze to create excellent textural soundscapes. Sparse, bleak and stark, it’s minimalist on the face of it, but when immersing yourself in the music it has a real depth at the same time. Far from easy listening, its incredibly bleak music. There’s hardly an emotion to be found within this music, there’s an ever changing sound, but with an almost complete absence of melody, with Aires you look into the face of abject nothingness itself, the music just points towards towards the existential idea that life is essentially meaningless.
Processed field recordings with shimmers of guitar and keyboard issuing forth drones, softly whirling noises, and with the sound of a croaky, echoing voice lost in the mix, the first piece – orgânico I – vozes sem corpo is incredibly bleak. With constant low, harsh drones, and windy swirling sounds, the track is ever changing, but there’s just an almost complete absence of melody, it’s instead just completely organic sounding, and unrelentingly harsh and minimalist. The lack of melody, combined with the presence of walls of sound just invoke images in your mind of a post-apocalyptic world, with no life or movement other than that of the wind sweeping through the leaves and branches of dead trees. With your eyes shut, and a complete submersion into the soundscapes that Aires creates, as mentioned before, it simply just fills the mind with ideas of nothingness and the existential ideas of lifes’ meaninglessness. That’s not to say it’s melancholic, it’s so bleak that not even melancholy can be gleaned from this. At 13 minutes, it’s nearly half the length of the release, and will crush every emotion out of you, leaving you feeling hollow and empty afterwards.
Orgânico II – monolítico is more centrered around drones, and with washes of guitar there are the faintest traces of melody and traditional musical elements, but they’re short lived and frequently snuffed out of existence. With the field recordings rumbling away with the sound of sweeping winds, there’s also more processing going on, with sheets of noise permeating through the rumbling drones, there’s so much for the discerning ear to gorge upon on this track. This is a much more experimental piece and there’s a lot more to it than orgânico I,but the feel of it is no less harrowing and bleak than the former.
A short one minute interlude isósceles combines sheets of the HARSHEST of noise with unsettling slow piano, before the song crashes into the final piece contraplacado. I don’t think there’s anything that can adequately prepare the listener for this final 8 and a half minute work of beauty. Eschewing some of the bleakness and elegant field recording processings, Aires on this final gift of a piece of music play a beautiful wall of shoegazey guitar which is harsh, beautiful and noisy all at the same time. Reminscient of The Angelic Process’ Weighing Souls with Sand album, its a such a continually beautiful, atmospheric piece of music, and when it fades out at eight and a half minutes it leaves you wanting so much more, it could just go on forever.
There’s just nothing much that sounds like this release, it’s unique, brilliantly atmospheric, and, to use the word again, just incredibly bleak. There’s so much depth to the recording that you pick up on something new in it every time. Bleak, ambient soundscapes of drone create a vision of absolute nothingness. This is a special album for sure. And the fact you can get it for pay what you like on bandcamp means there’s no reason not to immerse yourself in the bleak vision that Aires create.