Cousin Silas | website | bandcamp | soundcloud |
Released on September 12, 2016 via We Are All Ghosts
Bright, warm and full of hope. Ecstatic sublimity and blissful atmospherics. This album glides through the city overhead as a spirit. Like the angels from Wings of Desire; joyful, enlightened ready to comfort and reassure. Passing as clouds in a blue sky over a brutalist city with a dark history and a weary present. Berlin Evenings is full of stars and fluorescent luminescence amidst the moonlight.
With an opening track called ‘Embrace’ that sounds like the cerebral melody of somebody on MDMA stroking a cat, it should be pretty clear from the off-set that Berlin Evenings is pretty much an upper unto itself. The album is like the light of a summer’s day or a washed out aurora borealis.
The slow seamless progression in the collection showcases a well-considered arrangement process for the album that vastly enhances the listening experience. The progression from ‘Subatomic Oceans’ to ‘Yet Another Morning’ sees the album features an exquisite blend of music evocative of deep sea diving with an absolutely radiant low end meeting whistling tones and deserty lead guitar parts like the wild west finally reaching it’s parched lips to the ocean. It really is ambient electronica at its finest.
‘EF Frequencies’ seems to mark the beginning of another gradual transformation of the album focusing on slightly more electronic sci-fi twinged sounds. At times it almost feels like a soundtrack for a video game like a cruise through some unfathomable constellation system; a jaunty but well crafted sonic arrangement for introspection. When the title track arrives, the palpable melancholy shatters any illusions built in the previous track the idea of sailing through space becomes contorted in a metaphorical awakening. The dream is over; the astral realm is but a fantasy, the narrative is not one of space but one of spaced-out dysphoria. Exhaustion. A journey that became a mission; a mission that became an odyssey and an odyssey that became some hellish purgatory. The sad reality of it is that all of the joy was sleight of hand.
Cousin Silas puts you into the palm of his hand and just as the fingers start to close and you feel as though the water of previous track is now crushing you and space is now thousands of fathoms below the water drowning with you, just as all seems lost; a hopeful glimmer appears drifting like lampreys through the shadows. And it is fucking stunningly beautiful. The track seems to inch higher and higher before reaching the surface and coming up fishing for air against a backdrop of moonlight and tourists. Maybe it wasn’t an ocean at all, the eroding reality, the deceptive changes of tone. Maybe it was just a river distorted by perspective.
Back into the evening, find nourishment, gather the herd; flocks of friends and winding clocks; ‘Journey’s End’ acts as another chapter mark in the bold narrative of the album from this point the tracks seem to once again oscillate through optimism and temporal relations finding comfort in cosmological zones and sublimated aquatics.
‘Navigating Through The Time Winds’ is the album’s grand finalé, the track boasts somewhat of a greater ethereality than others on the album, perhaps that’s simply due to the intangible mysteries of the wind that it captures so well. Perhaps its the culmination of a long well-told story or a combination of many of the elements that reoccur through the album such as its beckoning submarine chimes or its vortex surfing sci-fi evocations. The track is a perfect conclusion to the story and may well be the optimal entry point for a new listener due to the succinct summation of the album’s charms contained with in.
This is an album for deep introspection, for fans of the genre, for long journeys, weary commutes and bleak hangovers. It’s an album for soundtrack fans and sci-fi fans. It’s an album for fans of bright, enchanting melodies and sad sombre tones and it perpendicularly circles the globe in its tonality. It is bold and idiosyncratic and really quite astounding to listen to as one long piece, if you have the patience to enjoy it as it was intended to be heard.