One Inch Of Shadow
Birthday Of Angels And Mannequines
~reviewed by Matthew Heilman
This is the second CD release from the Polish label Perun Records (the first being “Evensong” by The Blue Hour, which I previously reviewed for StarVox). One Inch Of Shadow is a unique and incredibly dark ambient project, utilizing hypnotic electronic samples, trance inducing loops, and light percussion. The entire album is a minimalist exploration of languid dream-like sounds, drenched in cavernous reverb, with fleeting passages of soft male or female vocals and spoken word. The songs are slow and spacious, occasionally utilizing muffled trumpets to invoke a kind of dark lounge or jazz vibe, while processed guitars or pianos creep in every so often. The only thing I can possibly compare this to would be Sigur Ros or perhaps some of Radiohead’s more electronica influenced releases. Yet this seems much slower and slightly elusive than either. The seven tracks that appear on this release are all relatively lengthy, and intentionally repetitive in order to achieve the desired hypnotic effects.
The first track “In Chapels And In Hotels,” I liked quite a bit, as it reminded me of a more subdued Lycia or Slowdive. But I personally am much too impatient to enjoy music that is this relaxed (however dark or unnerving parts of it may be) in any active state of consciousness. However, this is perfect for lounging around, reading, or for meditative purposes. One Inch Of Shadow is unquestionably successful in creating a strong and unmistakable vibe with their music - it isn’t just a bunch of hollow drones or numb electronic non-sense that repeats itself mindlessly for an hour. There is definitely some substance here, however, it is not something that I personally can foresee myself listening to unless I want to have some seriously bizarre or depressing dreams. And that seems to be the key in enjoying this disc. Down a bottle of wine, light some candles, and let this CD take you to another place, on the brink of consciousness. In this day and age, when we all lead such busy and hectic lives, discovering music like this is a challenging reminder that sometimes, its ok to just unwind and chill. Hopefully, I will be able to do that in the near future, and this will be the disc I choose to celebrate my inactivity with! Whatever the case, though One Inch Of Shadow’s style of downtempo atmosphere may be an acquired taste, The Birthday of Angels and Mannequines is a transcendent and delicate release of high regard and subtle ethereal power.
One Inch Of Shadow – Official Site: