Ian William Craig – Theia and the Archive

Theia and the archive is the latest album from ambient drone artist Ian William Craig. With piano, tape manipulation and synths he creates a lush blissed out mesh of noise that keeps treading the line between bright and dark.

Thick walls of swirling static and distortion provide the backdrop for most of the music here, with melancholic piano melodies pervading through at points. Dark, brooding and heavy on The Always Mountain, the layers of  low dark tones are surrounded by a swirling hiss and swells of distortion, building a formidable wall of sound, while bright synth melodies come in at the end to offset the darkness before breaking up into beautifully soft piano and an equally soft bassy rumble. Tape manipulations evoke decay on the experimental Lowest Arc Suite, with unsettling static, clicks and piano melodies.

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Our Loosening Orbit is one of the highlights, with a soft blissful layer of noise as a background to bright echoey piano, an incredibly beautiful piece. Bursts of distortion rise up to envelope the piano, with pulsing drones evolving into the mix, as the piano decays through manipulation into soft static. A great piece of beautiful experimentation. Our Last Collision is the central masterpiece of the album however with it’s noisy brilliance. A huge noisy wall of distortion shifts and pulses, while slow synth evolves with it  against a droning bass rumbles to a monstrous, beautiful cacophony.

It’s a really heavy drone album with a great sense of texture, layered to blissed out perfection with a thick wall of sound. Dark and brooding, bright and melancholic, and just downright noisy it’s a great effort from the brilliant sound artist. He’s got another release coming out later this year and I can’t wait.

You can get this as a pay what you wish download via bandcamp:

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