GDW on Sonic Curiosity

This release from 2013 features 60 minutes of moody atmospheric music.

Darkroom, a British electronics duo, is: Michael Bearpark (on electric guitars, pedals, loops, feedback, and bass), and Andrew Ostler (on synthesizers, keyboards, and programming). They are joined on certain tracks by: Rekoob Werdna (on cymbals), Simon Taylor (on trumpet), Simon H, Fell (on double bass), and Andrew Booker (on percussion).

Gentle electronics and atmospheric guitar tones deliver a rewarding dose of ambient tuneage.

While electronics are employed, the key instrument in this music is guitar. Predominantly, the guitar plays a gentle role with tonal sustains that establish dreamy vistas of smooth definition. These textural threads undulate softly, creating atmospheric passages of shimmering beauty that serve as a suitable foundation for the equally ethereal electronics.

At times, the guitar rises to achieve more than a tonal presence. Strummed chords stretch the harmonic structure into crystalline melodic territory. These more traditional guitar contributions lend a lilting humanity to the tunes with their often twangy resonance.

As mentioned, the electronics are secondary, functioning in support of the tonal guitar with their vaporous definition. On occasion, the electronics rise to a subtle blooping character that boosts the vitality of some of the tunes.

A degree of percussion is present, but generally relegated to the background, serving to generate fragile rhythms which contribute more as hints of tempos than as any propelling force.

These compositions are designed to establish passive soundtracks for the listener, tuneage rich with a dreaminess. They instill a infectious calm more than inspiring any introspection, though. While the overall temperament of these tunes is distinctly gentle, at times the instruments evoke a certain yearning that tends to exemplify an undercurrent of intensity locked beneath the surface.

Matt Howarth
Original review here