Diaphragm – Gauze CD

8 August 2011 xdementia No Comment

Diaphragm – Gauze CD

City Breed

There’s something mysterious about the word diaphragm, like why is that silent g in there? Why is it a ph instead of an f? Having chosen the word as a name says a lot about a project, it calls for mystery yet also simplicity, as it is about the most basic thing you can make a sound with. The only knowledge I come armed with about this artist is that I know this is one-half of the noise duo Cowards, which if you have read my review of their debut full-length sets the bar pretty damn high.

Diaphragm’s Gauze is an ambient album through and through, but it truly represents the best side of the genre. What Diaphragm explores here are delicate droning harmonies, musique concrete samples, field recordings and subtle sound manipulation on occaision leading to noisier moments. Each track seems to make use of mid to high range drones with different sound design elements that are used to create an uneasy atmosphere. In Phantom Romantics it sounds like the use of a creaky chair makes for quite a racket that is left more or less untreated, but joined with a chiming metallic hit that reverberates with a forsaken resonance.

Gauze is short, not quite reaching the 40 minute mark, which means you have to pay attention or the album will be over before you know it. Extra attention must be paid to the subtle detail and nuances. The atmosphere has depth and although it comes off as minimalist in many aspects, the material moves quickly. As a listener you are dragged through the seedy underworld that Diaphragm explores rather quickly.

The style of this very much reminds me of Pedestrian Deposit’s Austere, but Gauze seems just a touch more intentional and foreboreding. This is certainly a one of my favorite ambient/noise discs I’ve heard in a while and it shows the intense thought and emotion that has certainly gone into these compositions. This is a must have.

Composition: ★★★★½
Sounds: ★★★★½
Production Quality: ★★★★½
Concept: ★★★★½
Packaging: ★★★½☆
Overall Rating: ★★★★½

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