Josh Hydeman – Chiaroscuro CD

2 December 2011 xdementia No Comment

Josh Hydeman – Chiaroscuro CD

Entropic Tarot Records

Chiaroscuro is a release that is now a few years old and I believe is one that stands out among Josh Hydeman’s release catalog as he is more well known for his harsh noise and power electronics works. So it is that Chiaroscuro explores slowly evolving synthesizer compositions featuring metallic patches, organized drones, slowly moving pitched pads and even the sound of a guitar here and there.

The entire album has the atmosphere of an old creepy sci-fi film. As the album artwork is all black and white so reflects the sound with startlingly simple compositions such as Bioluminescent and Questioning which merely alternate between a few pitched notes on an equal tempered rhythm. Although there is always a subtle evolution, sometimes in the sound itself, at other times it’s in the few layers that surround the main themes.

So it is that the album really does remind me of a soundtrack because of it’s simplicity it seems like it is made to accompany visuals, which I guess reflects that there is a certain emptiness in the tracks. Another characteristic that furthers this theory is that the atmosphere is so consistent and unwavering. That said there are some highlights here as well, The Red Hall has a great glassy sound and some intense melodies to form a dense wall of harmony.

This release should appeal to synth heads who might also like projects like Emeralds and Onehitrix Point Never. Although not as layered, it follows a similar formula and aesthetic. As for me, I enjoyed it but it tends to fall on the side of being rather forgettable.

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

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

Join the monthly mailing list

Check your email and confirm the subscription