Review: Avrocar – Against The Dying Of The Light

The clue to the thought processes of Avrocar’s second album is in the press release which details how the band had been “isolating themselves… from people and places they would normally encounter”. Appropriately, ‘Against The Dying Of The Light’ contains sounds and atmospheres that seem alien yet familiar, machine-driven yet emotional.

Despite the fact that the band members come from Birmingham in the dead centre of England, I will forever associate Avrocar with the sounds of space travel. That’s not in a generic soundtrack sense but in terms of capturing the loneliness, dark beauty and mystery of being miles from Earth.

Imagine, if you will, that ‘Illustrate A Way To Survive’ is the take-off, ‘IAC’ is a monolithic spacecraft entering orbit and ‘Ultra Bronte’ symbolises floating gracefully through the night sky. On another level, ‘Dialogue’ takes the metronomic heart of a machine and applies it to melancholic synth washes and distant female dialogue whilst the title track increases the tension with great slabs of noise and austere synths. It sounds like a cliché these days but even instumental fragments such as ‘Our World Is Heaven’ and ‘Soft Lightning’ really do manage to emulate the poignancy of Boards Of Canada without being contrived. The record ends with the eerie, metronomic ‘From An Adjacent Field’. Never before has the calling out of random colours been so compelling.

With the advances (and availability thereof) in technology today, it’s getting easier and easier to be an electronica artist. What is difficult, however, is to produce a distinct trademark and an ability to stimulate the listener whilst conveying emotional depth. Avrocar hit the mark on every count with this stunning release.

Web Sites:
Avrocar MySpace
Make Mine Music Label And Shop Site

Further Listening:
Boards Of Canada, Vangelis

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